Native Boats, Kolkata, India


View of Native Boats on Hooghly, Calcutta
c.1910

Wikipedia Commons: Boats in West Bengal

“I was born on the banks of the Madhumati (a river in present-day Bangladesh),” said Biswas. “I am familiar with all the rivers of East Bengal. My father was a merchant and we used to own boats. As a child, I have seen boat races in East Bengal. If we were to step back in time by only a hundred years, in Bengal, for transport, for business, there was no option other than boats. You will find the term ‘nou-sadhan’ in many texts about Bengal.”

“This is riverine country,” said Biswas. “What we know and think of as Bengal is actually a large river delta.” Bhattacharyya explained further: “You will find different kinds of rivers in Bengal, from the shallow, rapid streams of North Bengal, to the Hooghly of Kolkata, with its slow and stately gait.”You will find different kinds of rivers in Bengal, from the shallow, rapid streams of North Bengal, to the Hooghly of Kolkata, with its slow and stately gait.” Each kind of river demands a specific boat. “If I were to go to a boat-maker today and ask him to make me a boat, the first question he would ask me is, on what river would the boat operate,” said Bhattacharyya. The dinghy, commonly seen at the ghats of Kolkata, works fine in the waters of the Hooghly, whose current is weak. “But it would be useless in North Bengal because a dinghy cannot travel against the current due to its shape.”
Quartz India: Inside a boat museum preserving eastern India’s disappearing river traditions

Nile River, Egypt


Bord du Nil
[Edge of the Nile]
c.1910
Published Lichtenstein & Harari, Cairo (1902-1912)


EGYPT. — The Tree Showing the place where Moses was found by the Pharaos Daughter
On the back:
Egypte. — L’Arbre indiquant l’endroit ou Moise a été trouvé par la fille de Pharaos
1910s
Publisher: Levy & Sons

During the first world war, soldier camped near Cairo often visted the city, buying souvenirs and takings tours of the city, which included many holy sites such as the place where Moses was found.  When they later wrote home about what they’d seen, the letters were often publishined in their local newspaper: Some extracts:

We visited Old Cairo again last Sunday, having a guide this time, who took us through two of the oldest churches in Egypt, being built by the Romans 2000, years B.C., almost as old as the pyramids. We then crossed the Nile to see where Moses was found in the rushes, but his cradle and Moses were not present, there being only a few reeds and a tree. The trip was very interesting, most of the old city now having given away, making a large heap of stone lying on the ground.
“Soldiers’ Letters: Pte. C. W. Boore.” The Grafton Argus and Clarence River General Advertiser, 16 August 1916

We drove through the main streets, then through some old broken down place (what is called the Old Cairo), till we came to the River Nile, where Moses was found in the bullrushes. A big pillar has been erected in the traditional place. At this pillar some of the water is taken away every August by the Sultan.
“Letters from the Front”, Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate, 15 August 1916

We visited Rhodes Island, on the Nile, where Moses was found by Pharaoh’s daughter, in the bullrushes. Bullrushes are still there, just near Pharaoh’s Palace, which is still there also.
“A letter from Pte. John, Murtagh”, Queensland Times, 18 November 1915

It might be about here.

I have pointed out elsewhere that as Cairo is the Arab capital, it was essential for the picturesque legend of Moses and the bulrushes to be located within a reasonable distance of that city, and the Island of Roda afforded the most promising locality. It had a mud shoal, upon which bulrushes may conceivably have grown in prehistoric times. It is not so near the chief sights and monuments of the capital as to be swamped by their superior attractions; it is rather a favourite picnicking place. Your Mohammedan is more apt to combine picnics with religious celebrations than most people. The visit to the family tombs on the chief day of Bairam seems to the eye of the infidel Christian much more connected with eating and drinking than anything else. Therefore the Princess Bint-Anat, the Pharaoh’s favourite daughter, and probably his wife also — some say that she stood in both these relations to Rameses the Great himself—had to find Moses’s ark on some portion of that once-favoured isle.
“Oriental Cairo: the city of the ‘Arabian nights'”, Douglas Brooke Wheelton Sladen, 1911

Rochor River, Singapore


The Rochor River, Singapore

No dating clues but about 1910.


Malay sampan and boys, Singapore. 

About 1910.

These two cards show the same part of the river (The buildings at the back on the left of the top card are the same as those on the right of the lower card.)

Rochor River is a canalised river in Kallang of the Central Region in Singapore. The river is about 0.8 km in length. Rochor River is a continuation of the Rochor Canal, and begins beneath Victoria Bridge and empties into the Kallang Basin.
Wikipedia

Before the development of land infrastructure, boats and river transport played the role in transportation of goods. Bumboats did not only ply the well-known Singapore River and the quays. They also plied other water bodies like the Kallang River, Rochor River and Rochor Canal for transport purposes. Rochor Canal is a continuation of a canal that begins from as far as the Bukit Timah area, its water source. Officially, only the section after the Kandang Kerbau Bridge is named Rochor Canal. It continues along the aptly named Rochor Canal Road and ends at Victoria Bridge, where it continues as Rochor River. It is one of five waterways that empties into the Marina Reservoir.

Rochor Canal gave rise to one of the earliest industries in Little India – cattle trade. The natural pasture fed by the waters of the Rochor Canal suited cattle trade. Many streets in Little India are named after this cattle trade legacy, such as Belilios Road (named after a prominent cattle trader), Buffalo Road, Desker Road (named after an abbatoir merchant), and Kerbau Road (kerbau means cattle in Malay). Kandang Kerbau means buffalo or cattle pen in Malay. The growth of cattle trade fuelled other industries. The first municipal incinerators were constructed off Jalan Besar and later, more municipal abbatoirs were built. Along the canal were rubber factories, ice works, and markets for used goods.
Rochor Canal as a Historic Waterway

Rochor River (modern photos and a map)