Cotton industry, early 20th-century artwork. Cotton harvesting by men, women and children working on a plantation in the valley of the Mississippi, USA. Cotton plants produce bolls (white) which are harvested and processed to obtain cotton fibre, which is used in clothes and other textiles. The southern US states produced millions of bales of cotton annually in the early 20th century. By this time, the workers were free as slavery had been abolished in the USA in 1865. Artwork from the 26th volume (second period of 1900) of the French popular science weekly 'La Science Illustree'.
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