Mumbai (1661-1947) | Historical Document I

History of Mumbai/Bombay

This video clip is a narrated historical overview of Bombay from 1661.  It contains historical and present images of the city.  The development of Bombay in economy, politics, land reclamation, and religion are as well mentioned.  It is worth noting that the reason why the British East India Company particularly chose Bombay (Mumbai) as their headquarters cos of its topography.  The islands allowed big vessels to pass through which made transportation of goods convenient.  The first Indian railway was later on constructed after substantial land reclamation under the Company’s governance.  Other architectural landmarks such as the Gateway of India that welcomed King George V and Queen Mary, the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus), and the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel are briefly shown in the video.

The above is another video on the History of Bombay.  The starting point of the video is shifted to accommodate the time period our research is based on.  The city’s development done by the British East India Company is described.  The Company transformed Bombay into a commercial capital by reclaiming land to increase land mass for people and enabled connection between islands.  They also set up a commercial hub in south Bombay and built the first indian railway as mentioned before.


Gateway To India from “The Voice of the Globe” produced by James A. FitzPatrick

This video footage was taken in the 1930s towards the end of British colonisation in India by James A. Fitzpatrick, an American producer.  He, as the narrator, seemed fascinated by how the elements of modern and ancient coexists in the city.  Bombay is referred as the Orient going through western civilisation towards cosmopolitanism.  However most of the westernisation happened in the island city of Bombay, a clip of a fishing village in the rural suburban Bombay was displayed in contrast to the urban Bombay.  Traditional indo-culture such as the caste system was also introduced alongside with the village.  The short film ended with a note on Bombay’s significance in commerce and trade and being a gateway to India to “civilised” nation.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.