Coffee Pickers at Work, Guadeloupe, F. W. I.

Special Collections > Keystone Slides
tiff scanned file from original glass slide
The West Indies are divided into three groups, the Bahamas, and the Greater and the Lesser Antilles (n-tl´ z). The Greater Antilles include the islands of Cuba, Jamaica, Haiti, and Porto Rico. The Lesser Antilles are made up of a great many smaller islands of which Guadeloupe (gô´ d-lp´) is one. Guadeloupe consists of 2 islands separated by a channel. One of these has 4 mountains, the other is a low plain. The entire French West Indies, which include other islands besides those of Guadeloupe, contain 688 square miles with a population of about 200,000. The soil of Guadeloupe is very fertile and is adapted to growing tropical and semi-tropical plants. Coffee and sugar are the chief products, but rubber, cotton, cocoa, tobacco, vanilla, and spices are also important. Here you are shown the way coffee is picked. You will note that the plants have been set out in the shade of banana and other trees to protect them from the hot sun. The plants are about the height of one of the pickers, but in a wild state they grow much higher. On the coffee plantations they are kept cut back to make them bushy, and also so the coffee beans may be more easily picked. The plants you see here are perhaps 6 or 8 years old. They have been grown from shoots or shrubs set out in the rich earth. You will observe that the coffee beans grow close to the branches. That is, they are not on stems as cherries are. The picker strips them off and puts them in a bag she carries. Then they are taken to the pulp mills where the outer pulp is removed and the halves of the coffee beans separated. The beans are then dried and sacked, ready for shipment to the roasting mills. These spice mills are usually in large cities. Keystone ID: 14439 Note: All titles, descriptions, and location coordinates are from the original Keystone Slide documentation as supplied by the Keystone View Company. No text has been edited or changed.
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