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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Bananamerica: 1942

Bananamerica: 1942

May 1942. Southington, Conn. "Dimitrios Giorgios, who came from Greece, runs a soda fountain. He wasn't here long before the country entered World War I and he joined up. A member of the American Legion, he is shown here making banana splits." Photo by Fenno Jacobs, Office of War Information. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

War Rationing?

Those bananas aren't "split", they're coin-sliced, and there isn't much banana in any of those dishes. Also, that looks like marshmallow cream on top instead of whipped cream. Is that some kind of rationing version of a banana split?

Pig's Delight

Around 1950 an ice cream shop in my neighborhood had a banana split called Pig's Delight. It was served in a wood container shaped like a trough and upon finishing the treat you were presented with a badge saying "I was a pig -- I finished the Pig's Delight." Days gone by indeed.

Family economy

It was a big deal for us just to go out for a cone instead of having my mom dig into the large pail, ice cream smearing her forearms, to dole out individual cones at home. A banana split at an ice cream joint would have been unthinkable, an impossible expense.

Split Decisions

I'm from Chicago, and at the Dairy Queen my parents took my sister and I to sometimes for a treat, the banana splits had three scoops of vanilla ice cream, and each scoop had a different topping each; hot fudge, strawberry sauce, and pineapples. My sister would eat the scoop with hot fudge, and being the oldest, I got the two remaining scoops with the fruit toppings.

That was fine by me — she got the bananas. I never did like them.

Trying to remember the flavors

Splits had three ice creams -- vanilla, strawberry and chocolate. But their toppings could be different depending on the region. I remember strawberry ice cream with chocolate sauce, vanilla with pineapple and chocolate ice cream with strawberry sauce. Never really cared for the bananas, though the whipped cream and the cherry were nice. My mom watched me eat it while having a limeade.

Banana Splits

In 1942-1945, we dreamed of having a banana split. But the same price would buy seven kids a cone at 5 cents each.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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