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Historical Photos of Sugar Production in Jamaica from the Late 19th and Early 20th Century

Due to Jamaica’s tropical climate and the trans-Atlantic slave trade became the world’s largest sugar producer in the seventeenth century. In the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, Jamaica was the world’s largest exporter of sugar. American and European sugar imports were heavily dependent on British Colonial, and therefore Jamaican, sugar exports. In addition, the Napoleonic Wars led to an expansion of the Jamaican sugar trade. Due to the wartime ban on trade with America, the Jamaicans only suffered a drop in capital during the American revolution.

The British colony’s prosperity was short-lived, though, and by March 1815, Jamaica was at the height of its sugar industry. British dominance of the world sugar market lasted until the 1830s when slavery was abolished, and Cuba overtook its neighbor in sugar production.

These historical photos show sugar production in Jamaica from the late 19th and early 20th Centuries.

#1 Llandovery Sugar Estate, St. Ann, Jamaica, 1890

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

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#3 Anchovy Sugar Estate, St James, Jamaica, circa 1890

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#4 Sugar Cane Cutters, Jamaica, circa 1890

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

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#6 Bull Pulling Wagon, Jamaica, 1891

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#7 Cane Cutters, Jamaica, 1891

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#8 Cane Fields And Palm Trees, Jamaica, 1891

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#9 Sugar Mill, Jamaica, 1891

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#10 Cane Wagon, Jamaica, 1895

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#11 Boiler, Mona Sugar Plantation, Jamaica, 1900

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#12 Centifugal Machines, Sugar Plantation, Jamaica, 1900

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#13 Grinding Sugar Cane, Mona Sugar Estate, Jamaica, 1900

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#14 Mona Sugar Plantation, Jamaica, 1900

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#15 Sugar Cane Field Hands, Montego, Jamaica, 1900

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

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

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

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

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

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Written by Aung Budhh

Husband + Father + librarian + Poet + Traveler + Proud Buddhist. I love you with the breath, the smiles and the tears of all my life.

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