South Beach from old Ice House [Madras]
Photographer: Nicholas and Company
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the South Beach at Madras (Chennai), Tamil Nadu, taken by Nicholas & Company in ca.1880. Madras, the capital of the Madras Presidency of British India, was the first significant settlement of the British East India Company, founded in 1639 on land granted by the Raja of Chandragiri between the Cooum and Adyar rivers on the south-eastern coast. Madras grew rapidly around the fortified trading post of St. George, but its importance declined with the pre-eminence of Calcutta by the late-18th century. The view looks northwards along the road next to Marina Beach, with an Indian group posed in the foreground. In the left foreground beside the road is the ice house, a handsome circular building with Ionic pilasters and a pineapple finial. The ice house was erected in 1842 to store large blocks of ice which were imported from America by the Tudor Ice Company, formed in 1840. Following the construction of local ice factories it was converted into a home for Brahmin widows and is now known as Vivekanand House.