The ‘South Asia’ Section of the Van Pelt Library, University of Pennsylvania recently acquired from a book dealer a photograph album consisting of 60 photographs of Calcutta taken most likely between 1945-1946.
The photographer, Mr. Claude Weddell, also provided the interesting glosses accompanying each photograph. Several attested copies of this work have emerged including one with a ‘title page’ held by the Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, Louisiana.
Mr. Weddell was a military photographer. Many of his captions sound like annotations that would be found in a typical military magazine. The album begins with several general long shots of Calcutta and ends with a picture of A mystery dhobi- s (washer men) washing clothes. The text accompanying the last photograph also sounds as if the author intended to finish with that picture of one of the “great mysteries of India.”
The annotations have been included because of their intrinsic interest not only to the photographs but to a ‘typical’ American impression of India at this time.
To see the photographs click this link