The internet is an amazing place and it keeps surprising us with treasure troves from years gone by.

The Van Pelt Library, University of Pennsylvania recently acquired an album with 60 photographs of Calcutta taken between 1945-1946. The photographer, Claude Waddell, was a military photographer & we have retained his original captions (just to give you an idea of how the world perceived us ‘natives’ then). Hope you enjoy this pictorial time travel back to the Calcutta of 1940s. The last picture in this series is a revelation (Read the $ amounts in the caption) !

Chowringhee Street
Chowringhee Street—Calcutta’s main thoroughfare, an amazing parade of fascinating sights and sounds.Every soldier who has trod its length retains memories of one of the most colorful and interesting streets in the world.
Hooghly river and part of Calcutta's east bank.  But for this giant stream, Calcutta would likely never have been built. Nevertheless the river affords many spectacles and has accommodated millions of tons of supplies necessary to the war effort.
Hooghly river and part of Calcutta’s east bank. But for this giant stream, Calcutta would likely never have been built. Nevertheless the river affords many spectacles and has accommodated millions of tons of supplies necessary to the war effort.
Aerial view of Calcutta downtown.  In upper left background is Hindusthan building, U.S. Army HQ.  The oldest part of the city starts at the esplanade and extends upwards.  The city was founded in the early 1700's.
Aerial view of Calcutta downtown. In upper left background is Hindusthan building, U.S. Army HQ. The oldest part of the city starts at the esplanade and extends upwards. The city was founded in the early 1700’s.
A bewildering mass of billboards at the corner of Harrison Street (Burra Bazar) and Strand Road.  One of the oldest sections of Calcutta, at the foot of Howrah Bridge, it is a fine vantage point for photographing the passing parade of oddly dressed natives and curious vehicles.
A bewildering mass of billboards at the corner of Harrison Street (Burra Bazar) and Strand Road. One of the oldest sections of Calcutta, at the foot of Howrah Bridge, it is a fine vantage point for photographing the passing parade of oddly dressed natives and curious vehicles.
Chowringhee Square.  The Juma Masjid, is shown at left.  This is actually one of the quiet moments when GI trucks, taxis, bicycles and other modes of transport can move with comparative freedom.
Chowringhee Square. The Juma Masjid, is shown at left. This is actually one of the quiet moments when GI trucks, taxis, bicycles and other modes of transport can move with comparative freedom.
Karnani Estates, a mammoth apartment hotel for U.S. Army officers.  Known to the many thousands of transient and locally based officers as a social center, it has been provided with one of the most elaborately decorated bars of any officers club in the CBI theater.
Karnani Estates, a mammoth apartment hotel for U.S. Army officers. Known to the many thousands of transient and locally based officers as a social center, it has been provided with one of the most elaborately decorated bars of any officers club in the CBI theater.
Calcutta boasts the third largest cantilever bridge in the world.  Its real importance, however, lies in the fact that it serves as Calcutta's gateway to the west, being the city's only bridge spanning the Hooghly. Taking 7 years to build, it cost $10,000,000. It towers 310 feet as the city's highest structure, is 2,150 feet long with a center span of 1,500 feet.  It was completed in 1942, opened in February, 1943.
Calcutta boasts the third largest cantilever bridge in the world. Its real importance, however, lies in the fact that it serves as Calcutta’s gateway to the west, being the city’s only bridge spanning the Hooghly. Taking 7 years to build, it cost $10,000,000. It towers 310 feet as the city’s highest structure, is 2,150 feet long with a center span of 1,500 feet. It was completed in 1942, opened in February, 1943.
Street scene outside the Calcutta stock exchange.  The noise is similar to the bedlam in all stock exchanges and many transactions (unofficial) take place in the street as shown here.
Street scene outside the Calcutta stock exchange. The noise is similar to the bedlam in all stock exchanges and many transactions (unofficial) take place in the street as shown here.
GI dock workers of the Port companies created order out of chaos at Calcutta's great docks and thousands of tons of vital war supplies flowed through to china, Burma and India.  The MP is on hand to see that the coolies do not pilfer from the rations they are carrying.
GI dock workers of the Port companies created order out of chaos at Calcutta’s great docks and thousands of tons of vital war supplies flowed through to china, Burma and India. The MP is on hand to see that the coolies do not pilfer from the rations they are carrying.
Bengali movie actresses.  Dressed in Sarees. 19-year old Binota Bose, left, and Mrs. Rekha Mullick, right,are right at home before the camera and lights.  Miss Bose earns $360.00 per month and Mrs. Mullick $210.00. Both are well educated and prefer American books, pictures.
Bengali movie actresses. Dressed in Sarees. 19-year old Binota Bose, left, and Mrs. Rekha Mullick, right,are right at home before the camera and lights. Miss Bose earns $360.00 per month and Mrs. Mullick $210.00. Both are well educated and prefer American books, pictures.

We’ll come up with the next lot of images before you can say Howrah Bridge… Till then LIKE our Facebook page so you don’t miss any stories from BONGFeed.com

 

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Teen Kori

Staff Writer & Beer Buyer at BONGFeed
Teen Kori (translates to THREE PIPS) is the lazy, laid back, food loving Bong bibliophile who can spend days sitting on his arm chair and doodling or reading while there's a steady supply of colored fluids and music.

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