Bodies and Structures 2.0: Deep-Mapping Modern East Asian HistoryMain MenuGet to Know the SiteGuided TourShow Me HowA click-by-click guide to using this siteModulesRead the seventeen spatial stories that make up Bodies and Structures 2.0Tag MapExplore conceptsComplete Grid VisualizationDiscover connectionsGeotagged MapFind materials by geographic locationLensesCreate your own visualizationsWhat We LearnedLearn how multivocal spatial history changed how we approach our researchAboutFind information about contributors and advisory board members, citing this site, image permissions and licensing, and site documentationTroubleshootingA guide to known issuesAcknowledgmentsThank youDavid Ambaras1337d6b66b25164b57abc529e56445d238145277Kate McDonald306bb1134bc892ab2ada669bed7aecb100ef7d5fThis project was made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
A busy stacking room in the opium factory at Patna, India
12019-11-18T17:22:59-05:00Kate McDonald306bb1134bc892ab2ada669bed7aecb100ef7d5f355A busy stacking room in the opium factory at Patna, India. Lithograph after W. S. Sherwill, c. 1850. Credit: Wellcome Collection. CC BY 4.0.plain2021-06-18T18:52:11-04:0025.59409, 85.13756Patna, India1850Wikimedia Commons, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:A_busy_stacking_room_in_the_opium_factory_at_Patna,_India._L_Wellcome_V0019154.jpg.Wellcome Library, LondonV0019154 A busy stacking room in the opium factory at Patna, India. LCredit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Imagesimages@wellcome.ac.ukhttp://wellcomeimages.orgA busy stacking room in the opium factory at Patna, India. Lithograph after W. S. Sherwill, c. 1850.1850 By: W. S. SherwillPublished: - Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/Digital image, Wellcome Collection, London.This image is licensed under a Creative Commons CC by 4.0 International License.Peter D. ThillyPDT-0001V0019154 A busy stacking room in the opium factory at Patna, IndCopyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/V0019154 A busy stacking room in the opium factory at Patna, India. LKate McDonald306bb1134bc892ab2ada669bed7aecb100ef7d5f
This page is referenced by:
12019-11-18T17:22:59-05:00Patna16A description of opium production in Patna, Indiaplain2021-10-01T17:49:40-04:0025.59409, 85.13756Patna04/26/1834Peter D. ThillyJardine, William
Our average prices are Old Patna $600, New Patna $694.52, New Benares $700.83, and Malwa $684.27. The Malwa was hardly touched until all the other drug was cleared out, and I fell confident you would be satisfied with the price got for the old Patna if you saw the state in which it now is. The balls are dried up and many of them half bouldered away, others which to appearance are perfect rattle when shaken. The opium inside being dried up and shrunk.
Captain Mackay at Lintin to William Jardine in Canton, April 26th, 1834.*
In the 1830s, most of the opium that reached China came from either Patna or Benares (Varanasi), neighboring regions located inland from the port of Calcutta. Opium from Patna and Benares was rolled into large balls, each weighing around 6 pounds, and packed 40 balls per chest for auction in Calcutta and the journey to China. The image above shows a large opium factory in Patna in 1850, just a few years after the events of this module take place.
In the above quote, Captain Mackay informs William Jardine that the 1833 Patna opium is in poor shape and must be sold off at a low price compared to the 1834 Patna.
Below is historian Carl Trocki's description of opium production in Patna:
In Patna, there were 1000 men employed as cakers, who worked from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day in the huge sheds erected for the factory. They labored throughout the hot season in temperatures of up to 40°C (103°F). A bell was rung every twenty minutes and each cake-maker's output was checked. The average output for the Patna factory was between 16,000 and 20,000 cakes daily.**