Image of the month: India, c.1900


This is a postcard of a European doctor vaccinating (or inoculating – the words were used interchangeably) an Indian man. The real question is perhaps not so much what is going on in this photo, as why it was printed on a postcard. Both colourised and black and white versions of this postcard circulated (and continue to be collected to this day by deltiologists). Is this image supposed to impress upon us the power of colonial science? Or perhaps it is supposed to show the benevolent implementation of that science?

This is a postcard in our possession. Provenance unknown.


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