Madras Iron Pier – Old Photo 1870
This is probably one of the earliest photos of the Madras Iron Pier from around 1870. Madras, now Chennai, had an inlet less coast. Because of this, ships had to anchor at the outer sea. And with the help of masula boats, passengers and cargo were ferried from the ship to the coast.
Since the cargo loss was very high, coupled with pilfering and stormy weather, they proposed a Pier as a docking jetty for larger ships. The British East India Company completed the construction of the Iron Pier in 1861.
They constructed a ‘T’ shaped jetty that protruded into the sea from the beach. Its length was 1000 feet, 40 feet broad, with a ‘T’-head. It was of basic design with no protection but exposed to violent storms and rough seas.
This was because for reasons of the economy or because of the lack of technology at the time, we are not sure. However, as feared by some, a violent storm breached the Pier in around 1870. See my post-Antique Print Breach of The Iron. Read also-The man who taught us how to love Madras.
But put back into use again by 1875, parallel concrete breakwaters were added. Later a permanent Harbour was made.
Did you know- battleship Emden of Germany bombarded Madras city and the harbour in WW1.
From the collection- Raja Ravi Varma’s “Birth of Shakuntala” Oleograph 1894., Vintage Postcard British Monarchs Delhi Durbar 1911., Vintage Book 1913 – The Peoples of India., Antique Photo Ooty Steam Loco Train Halt Over Bridge 1909