This image of the mashin khana is notable for referencing the use of steam power which was incorporated into older production processes involving ropes and pulleys. The original caption also compares the industries in Kabul with that of India, and it is important to note that most of Afghanistan's "industrial modernity" was modeled on European processes and techniques as filtered through British India. In that sense India was Afghanistan's window and doorway to the world, and the Europeans employed by Abd al-Rahman such as those portrayed in this image were the key actors in this transfer of modern technology, much of which was geared towards the production of military hardware and supplies. See Chapter 4 for more attention to the mashin khana, and below for a state document dealing with the movements of one of those European technocratic confidantes of Abd al-Rahman.
Copyright 2008 by author. Image is from May 1893. Unclear whether it is from The Graphic or the London Illustrated News. Author's copy.