20-woman team on Darjeeling highway [looking] N. - Who would not be a man
Photographer: Ricalton, James
Medium: Photographic print
Stereoscopic photograph of a female work-team on Darjiling Highway in West Bengal, taken by James Ricalton in c. 1903, from the The Underwood Travel Library: Stereoscopic Views of India. Ricalton described this image in 'India Through the Stereoscope' (1907), "Here are twenty women drawing a road-roller; these are Himalayan knights of labour...Here then rights are absolutely equal, for such work is not confined to women; men do similar work...Incidentally we learn from this scene the excellence of the roads around Darjeeling. Every slope is flanked by hard roads such as we see being made by these strenuous females." 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.