Photograph album of the Magin Cigar Company Tobacco Plantation in Cuba, circa 1900.

1 volume 31.5 x 24 cm (25 leaves)


Library of Congress genre(s)
Getty AAT genre
circa 1900.
Summary note
Consists of a photograph album depicting everyday life at a tobacco plantation in the Caribbean in the early 1900s, most likely the Magin Cigar Company's plantation in Cuba. The album contains ninety-two original photographs, including eighty-seven silver gelatin and albumen photographs and five cyanotypes ranging in size from approximately 3.5" x 4.5" to 7.5" x 9.25." Photographs in the album depict tobacco fields, a drying barn, tobacco leaves being bundled, dried, and packed into large parcels, machinery, an irrigation device, the interior of a house, animals, landscapes, and bodies of water. Over half of the photographs show people, including Cuban workers of African descent in the fields and next to their houses, plantation managers riding horses or having siesta in hammocks or around tables in the shade, and workers posing with a hunted alligator. The creator of the album is unknown, and the photographs have no captions. One of the photographs depicts the closed metal gate to the estate which bears the name "Magin" and the date "1899" at the top. Most likely, the plantation belonged to the Magin Cigar Company, based in Belleville, Illinois, which was run by three brothers, Jacob, Charles, and Joseph Magin. Charles and Joseph Magin were members of the Cigar Makers' Union of Belleville. The company was well-established by the 1880s and was engaged in manufacturing and dealing in "Havana and Domestic Cigars," with popular brands including "Jake Magin's Havana," "Little Victor," and "The Patriot."
Binding note
Maroon cloth binding.
Source acquisition
  • Purchase, 2018 (AM 2018-89).
  • Purchased in part with funds from the Program in Latin American Studies.
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