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201207 Aug

Jagadish-Chandra-Bose-Fiat Tipo

Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose's 1925 Fiat Tipo 103 bearing registration number WBA 3900 kept inside a glass enclosure at the Birla Industrial & Technological Museum, Kolkata.

 

Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose occupies a unique position in the history of modern Indian science. Bose was the pioneer of experimental science in India and devised many instruments for his research both in physics and physiology. And while Bose’s scientific prowess led him to achieve worldwide fame, not many of us are aware of Bose’s love for his 1925 Fiat Tipo 103. autojunction.in unveils the story.  

 

Before 1919, the premise of Birla Industrial & Technological Museum, now at 19A, Gurusaday Road, was known as 18, Ballygunge Store Road. Record shows that the Tagores purchased it from Mirza Abdul Karim in 1898. Meera Devi, the fourth of Rabindranath Tagore’s five children, spent a large part of her childhood in this house. Later G.D. Birla bought the property in 1919 from Surendranath Tagore and from henceforth this premise came to be known as Birla Park.

 

After the Birlas took over the property, there were major changes. The house used by the Tagores was pulled down and architects N. Guin & Co. were called upon to design the main building structure as we see today. It is a colonial adaptation of a mixture of various styles of European Art. And inside this very building, in a glass enclosure stands Jagadish Bose’s 1925 Fiat Tipo 103.

 

BITM

Birla Industrial & Technological Museum in Kolkata.

 

In 1916, the construction of Fiat’s Lingotto factory started under the direction of Giacomo Matte Trucco. The factory, the largest in Europe for its time, occupied five floors and had a futuristic test track on the roof. It soon became the emblem of the Italian automotive industry and was completed in 1922. It was here that the Fiat Tipo 103 was manufactured between 1925 and 1929.

 

The Fiat Tipo was a popular car of that era and it success led Fiat to manufacture several other variants of the Tipo. The vehicle has a coupe de ville body type (in French coach building parlance, a coupe de ville, refers to a town car that is "cut" by a division between the passenger and driver compartments) and a magneto ignition system. This four-cylinder car was capable of achieving a maximum speed of 130 kmph and could seat up to four passengers.

 

Bose shared a close friendship with Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore and often visited his Jorasanko residence in this Fiat Tipo. The bard too had a fascination for automobile and his family owned several European and American cars including a 1933 Humber. On several occasions the poet Laureate also travelled in this car along with Bose. Jagadish Bose loved this car and continued to use this car until his death in 1937.

 

The authorities at Birla Industrial & Technological Museum have done a commendable job in restoring and preserving this historic car. The Fiat Tipo is on display at the Transport Gallery at BITM and worth a visit if history and classic cars stir your senses.

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Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose occupies a unique position in the history of modern Indian science. Bose was the pioneer of experimental science in India and devised many instruments for his research both in physics and physiology. And while Bose’s scientific prowess led him to achieve worldwide fame, not many of us are aware of Bose’s love for his 1925 Fiat Tipo 103. autojunction.in unveils the story.

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