The people who appear in this photo are the hundreds of Indian workers who are resting while employed on the building the Bengal railroad. The major objects in the photo are the rickety bridge and the large man-made gorge beneath it. From this photo a pair of deductions can be made. The first is that the British relied heavily on native labor to make the railroads and other facets of infrastructure. The second is that the working conditions for these workers were not great considering the bridge. The question of why this photo is taken arises when considering the second deduction. Why would the builders have wanted a picture of such a poor structure, and if the picture was not commissioned by the builders then what were the photographer trying to convey?
There are no people in this picture of a Mexican harbor, just a town, many ships, and distant hills. The ships seem to vary in age from old schooner rigs to more modern steamers. The appearance of so many ships allows for the deductions that this port is either busting or home to a naval squadron. This opens the question then of what are these ships for? Are they freighters, military ships, or something else? There is also the question of what are the ships nationalities?
By Charles Fichtner