Table of Contents 1 2 3 4 5 6

Notes and References

1. Judith Mara Gutman, Through Indian Eyes, Oxford University Press/International Center of Photography, New York (1982), p. 138. 'F Bremner, one of the most adventurous, roamed through the Afghanistan hills and went southeast into Kutch, which borders Rajasthan. He adapted some of the Indian proclivity for filling up the flattened picture field of a portait with acessories, especially those a warrior might wear. This is evident in the portrait of the Khan of Kalat'. The Khan's portrait is reproduced on the same page.

Adventurous Bremner may have been, but he never went to Kutch, and instead of Afghanistan, Gutman should have said Baluchistan. Unfortunately, Gutman judges Bremner on the basis of a single photograph, thereby doing an injustice to his work as a photographer.

Muslim Pilgrim in Delhi
Mahomedan Pilgrim
Praying at the Jama Musjid Mosque, Delhi
2. Fred Bremner, My Forty Years in India, Banffshire Journal Press, Banff and Turriff (1940). The volume was 'published for private circulation' (according to the half-title) by which Bremner had 'decided that the article, on whatever it will develop into, will not pass beyond the perusal of friends and relatives . . .' (p. 5). There is a copy in the author's collection.

The book, bound in maroon exine with gold embellishments on the spine and cover, is only ninety pages long, divided into ten chapters. There is no contents page, list of illustrations or index. The book is illustrated by twenty-one autotype reproductions of Bremner's work.

3. 'It is no doubt you will appreciate the 21 photos illustrations, but the "scribbling" - well that it is quite another matter - just a bit of "fireside reverie" which occupied me at the time'. Extract from an ALS from Bremner, dated 24 August 1941, now in the author's collection.

4. Apart from the portrait of the Khan of Kalat (Essay 1) only two other photographs taken by Bremner figure in works that have some bearing on the history of photography in India: 'Elephant Battery ready to move off', evidently from Bremner's Types of the Indian Army reproduced on p. 100 of The Army in India, 1850-1914, a Photographic Record Hutchinson, in association with the National Army Museum, London (1968), though in the attribution on p. 182 the photographer's name has been misspelt as 'Bremmer'; and a view of a railwy incline near the Khojak Tunnel, reproduced on p. 60 of Michael Satow and Ray Desmond, Railways of the Raj, Scolar Press, London (1980).

5. For Lawrie, see Gutman, Through Indian Eyes, pp.84-85.

6. Karachi is now a port city in Pakistan. The following places figuring Bremner's account as being in India are now a part of Pakistan: Rawal Pindi, Quetta, Lahore, Jacobabad, Baluchistan, Bolan Pass, Khojak Tunnel, Sukkur Bridge, and Kalat.

7. Possibly H.W. Loof, who also had a studio in Meerut. His Mussoorie studio was 'near Delhi and London Bank'. See Guide to Masuri, Landaur, Dehra Dun, etc., etc. by John Northam, Thacker, Spink, Calcutta (1884), p. 15 of the Advertisement Section.

8. Field Marshall Lord Roberts of Kandahar (1832-1914), popularly known as 'Bobs', was Commander-in-Chief, India 1885-1893.

9. Maharajah Sir Jagatjit Singh of Kapurthala (1872-1949).

10. The premises known as Talbot House.

11. Evidently Bremner sold his firm to W. Cotton. See Simla, Past and Present by Edward J. Buck, The Times press, Bombay (1925), second edition, p. ii.

12. In 1900 Bremner also issued from Quetta an oblong folio titled Baluchistan Illustrated (4 pages text, 45 photographic plates, one folding), showing Quetta and the landscape and inhabitants of Baluchistan. Before this book he had published three books: Types of the Indian Army [issued with a Book of Notes Descriptive of the Warlike Races of India and its Frontiers, compiled by Capt. A. H. Bingley of 7th Bengal Infantry]. It had 60 original photographs and was sold in india for 90 rupees and in india for 5 guineas, sold by stanford & co. of london. He also published The 1st Battn. Wiltshire Regiment 'The Springers' [with 27 permanent photographs printed by photo-collotype process] and The 2nd Battn. Suffolk Regiment [with 38 photo-collotypes], evidently both showing these regiments in India.

Reprinted with permission of Taylor & Francis from History of Photography 13/4, Fall 1989

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | MAIN


© Harappa 2000