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Lansdowne Bridge over the Indus at Sukhur.

Lansdowne Bridge over the Indus at Sukhur.

Photographer: Unknown

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1890

Shelfmark: Photo 940/1(36)

Item number: 36

Length: 20

Width: 28.5

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Photograph

Photograph with a view across the Indus towards the Lansdowne Railway Bridge

near Sukkur in the Sindh province now in Pakistan, with the fort on the left, and a local boat moored in the foreground, taken by an unknown photographer in the 1890s. Sukkur is one of the oldest towns of the Lower Indus Basin, located on the west bank, with its 'twin' town of Rohri on the opposite bank. At Sukkur and Rohri, the Indus cuts through a final limestone outcrop before proceeding to the Arabian Sea. The channel here is bisected by the Bukkur Island. After the British conquered Sindh in 1843, they proceeded to develop the strategically located towns along the Indus, in order to promote trade and industry and facilitate movement of commodities. The Lansdowne Bridge, built to support heavy steam locomotives,

was one of the great British engineering feats of the 19th century, at the time of its construction it had the largest cantilever span of bridges in the world. The bridge crosses the channel from Rohri to Bukkur Island. Surveys were made between 1872 and 1874, then several years were spent in considering different proposals for the plan of the bridge and the most suitable point of crossing. Finally the design by Sir Alexander Rendel on the cantilever principle was accepted. Work commenced at the end of 1883 but was stopped in March 1885 as the iron for the big span had not arrived. Work resumed in September 1887 and was completed by the end of 1888; it was inaugurated on 27th March 1889 and named in honour of the Marquess of Lansdowne, Viceroy of India, 1888-1894. This photograph is from an album of 91 prints apparently compiled by P. J. Corbett, a PWD engineer involved in irrigation work at the famine relief camp at Shetpal Tank in 1897, and in canal construction in Sindh in the early 1900s.

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