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Notes on the Geography of India Themes: Crafts and the Introduction of Machinery

Archaic technologies still thrive in India.

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India Themes: Crafts and the Introduction of Machinery picture 1

Indian laundrymen are notorious for their flogging of clothing, as here, below the Husainsagar in Hyderabad.

India Themes: Crafts and the Introduction of Machinery picture 2

A mobile ironing-service, using a heavy, charcoal-heated iron in the Krishna delta, downstream of Vijayawada.

India Themes: Crafts and the Introduction of Machinery picture 3

A village tailor, with a treadle-powered sewing machine.

India Themes: Crafts and the Introduction of Machinery picture 4

A British introduction? Probably. A rope-making machine in Tamil Nadu twists coconut fiber into rope; the women in the background feed material into the strand.

India Themes: Crafts and the Introduction of Machinery picture 5

One use for such rope: caulking is forced between ship timbers at a yard near Machilipatnam, at the mouth of the Krishna. The seams are then tarred.

India Themes: Crafts and the Introduction of Machinery picture 6

An earlier stage of construction.

India Themes: Crafts and the Introduction of Machinery picture 7

It is a truism that the British destroyed Indian textile handicrafts by flooding the Indian market with Manchester cloth. But the Indian market developed machine technology, too, and not just after 1947.

India Themes: Crafts and the Introduction of Machinery picture 8

A vacuum cleaner working in reverse as a spray painter on a temple cart at Madurai, Tamil Nadu.


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