Diary entry by Clarence McElory during his trip to Asia.
. . . kinds of people. The coolies are generally naked except a cloth. Men & women all wear jewelry Especially the women. Who have from 4 to 40 pieces. The ears are frequently studded all around & the lobe of the ear often comes to the shoulder because of the weight of the earring. The Sinhalese men have long hair which they tie in a knot in back of head & wear a comb which which extend from face around to face. The head waiter at Hotel has a comb on back of his head about 5 or 6 inches high. The population of Colombo is 156,000. Area of Ceylon 25,841 sq. mi. Population about 4,000,000 of which 2,300,000 are Sinhalese, 950,000 Tamils 230,000 Moorman about 9000 European.
The chief exports are tea 170,527,146 lbs. Coffee 7,972 cwt, Cardamons 732,136, Cinnamon 5,899,306 lbs. Cacao of pararubber 327,024 lbs. plumbago 703,666 cwts cocoanuts 1000 to 1200 million nuts
Volume of exports (1906) Rs [rupees] 112,516,911(?) Imports R 123,502,922, Rubber 35,000,000 Ceylon is a crown colony. Portuguese first settled here in 1507. The Dutch took it from Portugal in 1656. England took the northern province in 1796 & got the whole Island in 1815.
The currency is the Rupee divided into 100 cents. There are 15 Rs in a pound sterling. Making the R worth about 33 cents in our money.
Railways are being built very quickly are now run to extreme north of N Island & on to extreme south from Colombo. Another extends a little beyond Kandy which is in the mountains. It is said at one time the population of Ceylon was about 40,000,000.
Travel diaries, Sri Lanka, Ceylon