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May 4, 2022

Amazing Photos of Sugar Production in Jamaica From the Late 19th and Early 20th Centuries

In the seventeenth-century, Jamaica’s tropical climate, along with the transe-Atlantic slave trade, made Jamaica into the world’s largest sugar producer. Throughout the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, Jamaica remained the world’s largest sugar exporter.

Both the United States and Continental Europe depended heavily on the British Colonial, and therefore the Jamaican, export of sugar. Furthermore the Jamaican sugar trade expanded as a result of the Napoleonic Wars. Only during the American revolution did the Jamaican’s experience a drop in capital, due to the war time ban on trade with America.

Prosperity for the British colony was not to last though, and by March 1815, Jamaica saw the peak of its sugar industry. British domination over the world sugar market lasted until the 1830s, when slavery was abolished, and Cuba over took its neighbor in sugar production.

These amazing photos from The Caribbean Photo Archive captured sugar production in Jamaica from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Llandovery Sugar Estate, St. Ann, Jamaica, circa 1890

Ploughing The Cane Field at Orange Valley Estate, St Ann, Jamaica, circa 1890

Anchovy Sugar Estate, St James, Jamaica, circa 1890

Sugar Cane Cutters, Jamaica, circa 1890

Taking the Cane Crop at Orange Valley Estate, St Ann, Jamaica, circa 1890

Bull Pulling Wagon, Jamaica, 1891

Cane Cutters, Jamaica, 1891

Cane Fields And Palm Trees, Jamaica, 1891

Sugar Mill, Jamaica, 1891

Cane Wagon, Jamaica, circa 1895

Boiler, Mona Sugar Plantation, Jamaica, 1900

Centifugal Machines, Sugar Plantation, Jamaica, 1900

Grinding Sugar Cane, Mona Sugar Estate, Jamaica, 1900

Mona Sugar Plantation, Jamaica, 1900

Sugar Cane Field Hands, Montego, Jamaica, 1900

Boiling Coppers, Weltz Pan and Crane in Old Style Sugar Mill, Mona Sugar Plantation, Jamaica, 1904

Coolies Working at the Mill, May Pen, Jamaica, 1904

Natives Bartering for Jamaica Sugar in the Mandeville Market, Jamaica, 1904

The Still and Retorts for Making Jamaican Rum in the Liquor Department of a Sugar Estate, Jamaica, 1904

Crude Method of Grinding Sugar Cane, near Kingston, Jamaica, 1906


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