Galápagos Sugar Empire: The Mechanization of the El Progreso Plantation, 1880-1917


From 1880 to 1917 the "El Progreso" sugar plantation operated on San Cristóbal Island in the Galápagos, using steam-driven mechanized sugar processing.  Despite its remote location, this large operation took advantage of the latest industrial technology. Machinery was imported from factories in Scotland and the United States, and a number of specialized machines were used in sugar processing and alcohol production.  After the death of the plantation owner at the hands of his workers in 1904, the mill operated for another decade before being abandoned.  Parts of the machinery were removed to mainland Ecuador, but some have remained on site.  This poster explores the technology used, who supplied the machinery, and the role of steam mechanization in revolutionizing global sugar production at the turn of the 20th century.  Agricultural mechanization was an important aspect of Ecuador’s entry into global markets after the country’s independence from Spain. 

Cite this Record

Galápagos Sugar Empire: The Mechanization of the El Progreso Plantation, 1880-1917. Fernando Astudillo, Ross W. Jamieson, Peter Stahl, Florencio Delgado. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Washington, D.C. 2016 ( tDAR id: 434883)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections


Galápagos Mechanization Sugar

Geographic Keywords
Canada North America

Temporal Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -141.003; min lat: 41.684 ; max long: -52.617; max lat: 83.113 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 910