University of Chicago Library

Guide to the Buckingham and Carnatic Mills Photograph Collection undated

© 2020 University of Chicago Library

Descriptive Summary


Buckingham and Carnatic Mills Photograph Collection




0.25 linear feet (1 box)


Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center
University of Chicago Library
1100 East 57th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.


Nineteen photographic prints of the facilities at Buckingham Mills Company in Chennai, India (formerly Madras).

Information on Use


The collection is open for research.


When quoting material from this collection, the preferred citation is: Buckingham and Carnatic Mills Photograph Collection, [Box #, Folder #], Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library

Historical Note

The Buckingham Mill Company Limited was a functioning textile mill in Madras, India (present-day Chennai) from 1876 to 1996. It was founded by Messrs Binny and Company, a private enterprise operating in Chennai since 1797. The Buckingham Mill started working as a spinning mill in 1877, with weaving introduced in 1890. In 1920, the Buckingham Mill merged with the nearby Carnatic Mill Company Limited (founded by Binny and Co. in 1881) to become Buckingham and Carnatic (B & C) Mills. The two companies are known as the site of one of India’s first labor unions, the Madras Labour Union, founded in 1918. The union organized a strike in 1921 over wages and working conditions.

Scope Note

The Buckingham and Carnatic Mills Photograph Collection contains one folder with 19 undated photographs of the Buckingham Mills site. The photographs are black and white, each mounted on paper with a typewritten caption below. Some photographs are marked with a month (May, September, October and December) but not a year. They capture general views of the grounds, some of its facilities during working hours (a spinning room, a weaving shed, baling presses, and a carding room), its machinery (motor-driven looms and engines) and the activities of workers outside work hours (mealtimes, receiving wages, a playground and football field, and a “dispensary”).

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Subject Headings


Box 1

Photographs at the Buckingham Mill Company in Chennai, India, undated