Nepalese porter girls who carry luggage many miles for twopence - Darjeeling [looking] N.E., India
Photographer: Ricalton, James
Medium: Photographic print
Stereoscopic photograph of Nepalese porter girls at Darjiling in West Bengal, taken by James Ricalton in c. 1903, from the The Underwood Travel Library: Stereoscopic Views of India. This image is described by Ricalton in 'India Through the Stereoscope' (1907), "We are standing on the old tonga road...Nearest and most conspicuous in our immediate vicinity are two Nepalese girls...Their occupation is that of carriers. On the arrival of every train, such girls are found at the station in great numbers for the purpose of carrying luggage of all sorts to the homes of the passengers...The two Nepalese girls before us served as my porters during a somewhat protracted sojourn at Darjiling...Instead of carrying their loads on their heads as women do in the plains, they use wicker baskets supported by bands extending over the head." This is one of a series of 100 photographs, designed to be viewed through a special binocular viewer, producing a 3D effect, which were sold together with a book of descriptions and a map with precise locations. 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.