Caribbean sugar cane plantation, 1660s

Caribbean sugar cane plantation, 1660s

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Caption: Caribbean sugar cane plantation. 17th-century artwork of slaves processing sugar cane on a plantation in the Caribbean. Sugar canes are harvested from the fields (bundles being carried at centre right), and then shredded and crushed (animal-powered mill at upper right) to extract the sweet, sugary juices. This juice runs along a trough to the boiling area (centre left). Here, the juice is boiled in successively smaller vats. The resulting viscous liquid (molasses) runs off and is allowed to cool. Several plants are illustrated across bottom. Artwork from 'Histoire generale des Antilles habites par les Francais' (Paris, 1667-71).

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