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Barrels of molasses in the West India Docks (sepia photo)

Barrels of molasses in the West India Docks (sepia photo)

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Barrels of molasses in the West India Docks (sepia photo)

STC347646 Barrels of molasses in the West India Docks (sepia photo) by English Photographer, (20th century); Private Collection; The Stapleton Collection; English, out of copyright

Media ID 22914558

© The Stapleton Collection / Bridgeman Images

Docklands Sugar Cane Sweets Trading Warehouse B W Photo Black And White Photograph Treacle


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This sepia photograph transports us back in time to the bustling West India Docks of London during the early 20th century. The image showcases a mesmerizing sight - rows upon rows of barrels filled with rich, golden molasses. These barrels stand as a testament to the thriving trade and commerce that once defined this vibrant dockland. The monochromatic tones add an air of nostalgia, emphasizing the historical significance of this moment frozen in time. As we gaze at this snapshot from yesteryears, we can almost taste the sweetness lingering in the air. Intriguingly, these barrels not only symbolize sugary delights but also represent a broader network of global connections. They are tangible evidence of trade links between England and its colonies, particularly those involved in sugar cane production. Amidst all this industrial activity, horses patiently await their turn to transport these precious cargoes across town. Their presence reminds us that even amidst progress and modernization, traditional methods still held sway. This remarkable photograph captures not just a scene from daily life but also encapsulates an era when docklands were buzzing hubs of activity and international exchange. It serves as a visual reminder that history is woven into every aspect of our lives – even something as simple as a barrel full of molasses holds stories waiting to be discovered.

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