Posted on: 5 March 2014

A busy balling room in the opium factory at Patna, India. Lithograph after W. S. Sherwill, c. 1850.

"Each ball-maker is furnished with a small table, a stool, and a brass cup to shape the ball in a certain quantity of opium and water called ‘Lewa,’ and an allowance of poppy petals, in which the opium balls are rolled. Every man is required to make a certain number of balls, all weighing alike. An expert workman will turn out upwards of a hundred balls a day."

Published: Maclure, Macdonald & Macgregor, London.

Credit: Wellcome Library, London

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