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São José (St Joseph) Sugarcane Factory

It had a large workers’ village, schools, a cinema and health services.

São José (St Joseph) Sugarcane Factory

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Last update: 05/02/2013

By: Lúcia Gaspar - Librarian of the Fundação Joaquim Nabuco

Situated in the municipality of Igarassu, it was founded by Joaquim Coelho Leite and José Joaquim Coelho Pereira Leite, who in 1891 received permission from the State of Pernambuco to build a factory, giving it the name Coelho (Rabbit). It milled for the first time in 1906.

In 1900, its owner was the firm Pontual & Padilha, being sold in 1917 to the company Bandeira & Irmãos (Brothers).

In 1929, it had 14 fields, a 51km-long railway, three locomotives and 93 wagons. It had the capacity to work 600 tonnes of sugarcane and produce 2,500 litres of ethanol in 22 hours. In the milling period around 200 workers were employed at the factory. It had a large workers’ village, schools, a cinema and health services.

In 1946, the society was reorganised and renamed to Alfredo Bandeira & Co.

In 1952, the proprietary firm was transformed into a public company, under the name Usina São José S/A (St Joseph Factory, Ltd), being sold to Companhia de Cimento Portland Poty (Portland Poty Cement Company) (José Ermíro de Morais).

Currently it belongs to the Paulo Petribú group.

Recife, 7 August 2003.
(Updated on 9 September 2009).
Translated by Peter Leamy, January 2012.


sources consulted

ANDRADE, Manuel Correia de. História das usinas de açúcar de Pernambuco. Recife: FJN. Ed. Massangana, 1989. 114 p. (República, v.1)

GONÇALVES & SILVA. O assucar e o algodão em Pernambuco. Recife: [s.n.], 1929. 90 p.

MOURA, Severino. Senhores de engenho e usineiros, a nobreza de Pernambuco. Recife: Fiam, CEHM, Sindaçúcar, 1998. 320 p. (Tempo municipal, 17).


how to quote this text

Source: GASPAR, Lúcia. São José (St Joseph) Sugarcane Factory. Pesquisa Escolar Online, Joaquim Nabuco Foudation, Recife. Available at:  <>. Accessed: day month year. Exemple: 6 Aug. 2009