Interior of a Boiling House, French West Indies, 1762


Denis Diderot, Encyclopédie, ou, Dictionnaire Raisonné des Sciences, des Arts et des Metiers . . . Recueil de Planches, sur les Sciences . . . (Paris, 1762), vol. 1, plate IV. (Copy in Special Collections Department, University of Virginia Library)


Shows slaves at work in the processing of sugar. On the left (B) is the tank that receives the cane juice flowing from the mill where the sugar cane has been crushed and the juice extracted. In the center are the coppers (cauldrons) in which the sugar juice is boiled (C) with slaves moving the crystallized sugar from one to the other with giant ladles (D). On the lower right are the conical sugar pots into which the raw sugar will be placed and then taken to the curing house to drain out the molasses. A reversed version of this image is in M. Chambon, Le commerce de l'Amérique par Marseille (Avignon 1764) Vol. 1, plate IV (top), after p. 382), titled Sucrerie.

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