Sugar cane boiling, 17th century

Sugar cane boiling, 17th century

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Caption: Sugar cane boiling. 17th-century artwork of slaves on a sugar plantation, with an overseer, boiling the sugary juices extracted from the sugar cane plant. The juice is boiled in a series of vats and the resulting viscous liquid (left, molasses) is drained off in a trough and allowed to cool. The peak in the extent and size of the slave-worked sugar plantations was reached in the Caribbean in the 18th century. Artwork from 'De medicina Brasiliensi libri quatuor' (Four books of Brazilian medicine, 1648) by Dutch physician and naturalist Willem Piso (1611-1678).

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