United Service Club Calcutta, 1903 Postcard

United Service Club Calcutta, 1903 Postcard

This is an old 1900s postcard of the United Service Club of Calcutta, now Kolkata. The United Service Club was once located in Chowringhee Road or the Jawaharlal Nehru Road Kolkata. Initially opened as The Bengal Military Club in 1845. It was once an exclusive reserve from the elite of the British military and civil service personnel.

It closed down because of an acute case of snobbishness and pride. Because of its typical British-only air, this created sustainability problems since they had strict conformity in selecting members. Which lead to a shortage of funds in their kitty and as the years passed it became a major hurdle. Since maintaining a club with limited income from a limited number of members was just not enough.

It forced the club’s committee to open their minds and doors to a wider class and hopefully to larger revenue. So by 1853, the first change was made by changing the name from Bengal Military Club to United Service Club. By and by all this change proved successful and thrived it did financially. Spirited with the success, it expanded its buildings and grounds for larger space.

But again it’s exclusivity to admit Europeans only was not shed even after India’s independence. This British whites-only snobbishness established its doom. That led to its closure in 1949 rather than demean itself by opening its doors to Indian members. Read more- Maltese Cross in city heart.  

Did you know- although clubs started from the time of the British colonial era, they became more exclusive and pronounced only after the Indian mutiny of 1857.  

From the collection- Drawing Hiding The Taj Mahal WW2.,  Postcard Dhondy Road Deolali 1900.,  King George’s Car Delhi Durbar – Old Photo 1910.,  Vintage Book 1877 – Illustrated India: Its Princes And People., Royal Visit To Bombay or Mumbai – Old Print 1883