A busy examining hall in the opium factory in Patna, India
After W S Sherwill, lithograph, c. 1850
This series of prints shows the different stages in the
processing of opium at the factory in Patna, the centre of the
British East India Company's opium plantations in Bengal. The raw
opium was formed into a ball about 3½ lb in weight and wrapped in
poppy petals to protect it from damage.
The balls were then dried on shelves and boxed into chests each
containing 25-40 balls before shipping to China and Europe.