In the late 19th Century, departmental stores in Calcutta rivaled those in European cities. The modern departmental store evolved from shops that were originally known as “drapers”. “Draper” was a term for a retailer or wholesaler of cloth that was mainly for clothing, says Wikipedia. One of the earliest such shops in Calcutta was Francis, Harrison, Hathaway and Company of Government Place, East.
|Francis, Harrison, Hathaway and Company in it's heydays|
|The building today|
The building today clearly looks battered and bruised. I hope that the Mallick family will consider renovating it sometime soon. It would be a pity to lose yet another one of the city’s connections to it’s colonial past.
- by Deepanjan Ghosh