Stereoscopic photograph of Bombay in Maharashtra, taken by James Ricalton in c. 1903, from an album entitled 'The Underwood Travel Library: Stereoscopic Views of India'. This is a view of Bombay taken from the Rajabai Tower, looking south with the harbour in the distance. The building with the square tower is the former Secretariat of the Government of Bombay (1874) containing rooms for the Governor, committee rooms, and offices of the Judicial, Revenue and Military Departments. It was designed by Captain (later Colonel) Henry St Claire Wilkins in the Venetian Gothic style. The building in the immediate foreground is the University Library and Hall. The Hall was designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott in 1874 and supervised by Fuller, in the French style of the 15th century. The adjacent Library and Rajabai Tower were also designed by Scott from plans he sent from England. It was built between 1869 and 1878 in a amalgam of 14th century French and Italian Gothic.
This is one of a series of 100 photographs, designed to be viewed through a special binocular viewer, producing a 3D effect. They were sold together with a book of descriptions and a map with precise locations to enable the 'traveller' to imagine that he was really touring around India. Stereoscopic cameras, those with two lenses and the ability to take two photographs at the same time, were introduced in the mid 19th century and revolutionised photography. They cut down exposure time and thus allowed for some movement in the image without blurring as subjects were not required to sit for long periods to produce sharp results.