Indigo factory, Allahabad, India, 1877.

Mallitte, Oscar Jean-Baptiste

Indigo factory, Allahabad, India, 1877.
3 2 c m
actual image size: 32cm x 24cm


On the left is the machine apparatus for beating the indigo in vats. A worker stands next to it, almost waist-deep in dye. One of a series of 20 photographs depicting the planting and manufacturing of indigo in India by French photographer Oscar Mallitte (c 1829-1905). Mallitte arrived in Calcutta in 1857 and accompanied Dr Mouat's official expedition to the Andaman Islands. He made an invaluable photographic record of the life and customs of the native islanders, a collection which sadly has since been lost. Mallitte taught photography at the School of Industrial Arts in Calcutta, and in 1859 he accompanied the Vice-Roy, Lord Canning, as photographer on a tour of the North-West provinces. A series of his views of indigo planting and manufacturing was sold at Sotheby's in 1980.

© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library

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