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Painting of sugarcane harvesting and transportation in Cuba, 1873. Cuban molasses was used to make rum, which was a major commodity in Maine. Portland's first sugar house was opened in 1845 and sugar processing continued to be a major industry in the city.
William F. Chadwick of Portland was the painter. The son of prominent merchant Samuel Chadwick, William was born about 1828. He may have been involved in the sugar trade with Cuba.
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