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WATCH: Amazing new footage of 1940's India

India's population recently surpassed China as the largest in the world at nearly 1.5 billion people. In the 1940s, India had less than 400 million people, yet its cities were as vibrant as ever.

Today, Delhi, India's biggest city, has a population of 33 million people. Back in the 1940s, it had only about 1 million people.

The film footage above is from 1947 and was shot by John Laing in the Indian cities of Delhi, Ludhiana and Amritsar.

The structures of North India fascinate construction magnate and missionary John W. Laing, including the large-scale astronomy instruments of Jantar Mantar, founded in 1723.

The Indians John Laing captures are equally interested in the technology he is using, particularly the camera and the car. This footage was shot in early 1947, before Independence and Partition.

Sir John William Laing was a British entrepreneur in the construction industry. He inherited his father's building business – now known as John Laing Group – in the early 1900s. He was born September 24, 1879, in Carlisle, United Kingdom and died January 11, 1978.

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