'Gathering Cochineal', 1845.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Vignette from a lithographic plate showing women collecting cochineal. Cochineal, or carmine, is a natural red dye obtained from the dried bodies of female cochineal beetles. Taken from 'The Cochineal and Lac Insects' in 'Graphic Illustrations of Animals - Showing Their Utility to Man' (1845), illustrated by Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins and R K Thomas, printed by J Graf, C Graf, Day & Haghe, and published by Thomas Varty.