Horse carriage with Indian driver

This photograph shows a horse-drawn carriage photographed with an Indian driver. Such carriages were a common mode of transport among the Europeans in Singapore and Malaya before the Japanese Occupation and were not a rare sight on the roads. These kinds of ‘gharries’ were smaller carriages that were for hire. They usually crowded the streets in the business area or the town centre. The rest of the population preferred rickshaws and other modes of public transport. Horse-drawn carriages and ‘gharries’ were replaced by electric trams and automobiles in the early decades of the 20th century. These ‘gharries’ were a unique feature of colonial Singapore, and this photograph was probably taken for documentation purposes. It might have been sent back to be published in Europe to allow the home public to understand more about the locals in their country’s overseas colonies