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A hill-country 'Ekka' with passenger and baggage, coming from Cashmere to Murree, India

A hill-country 'Ekka' with passenger and baggage, coming from Cashmere to Murree, India

Photographer: Ricalton, James

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1903

Shelfmark: Photo 181/(28)

Item number: 28

Length: 8.9

Width: 17.8

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Photograph

Stereoscopic photograph of an 'ekka' at Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir, taken by James Ricalton in c. 1903, from The Underwood Travel Library: Stereoscopic Views of India. This is a view of the heavily-laden ekka, halted for the photographer on a hill road, with a European passenger seated up front with the driver. It is described by Ricalton in 'India Through the Stereoscope' (1907), "An ekka has no springs; that great pouch below the axle is to hold fodder for the horse. The compartment above the axle is for baggage; the third space is for passengers, often containing five or six with heads thrust out on every side, reminding one of a market crate of poultry; so that the general aspect of a well-stocked traveling ekka is a snarl or conglomeration of horse, humanity, rags and ropes. Seven days and one hundred and fifty-five miles of ekka travel leave impressions mental and physical not soon to be forgotten." This is one of a series of 100 photographs designed to be viewed through a special binocular viewer, producing a 3D effect. The series was sold together with a book of descriptions and a map with precise locations to enable the 'traveller' to imagine that he was really 'touring' around India. Stereoscopic cameras, those with two lenses and the ability to take two photographs at the same time, were introduced in the mid 19th century and revolutionised photography. They cut down exposure time and thus allowed for some movement in the image without blurring as subjects were not required to sit for long periods to produce sharp results.

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