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Beaucoup Bananas: 1921

Beaucoup Bananas: 1921

Washington, D.C., circa 1921. "National Fruit Co. banana truck." Salvatore Scalco's produce business on Louisiana Avenue. National Photo Company glass negative. View full size.


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Six foot, seven foot, eight foot bunch!

Well, these look a little shorter, but similar.
And those you buy at the market come as "hands" ...

Truck ID

Mack model AB with some upgrades: Electric lights all around; figure 8 bumper; radiator guard; glass windshield.


It looks like there is a fingerprint on the left side near the center. Could the white streak that leads up from the fingerprint be the result of not-so-careful handling by whomever left the print?

[There is no print. This was imaged from the negative. - Dave]

Yes, we have no bananas ...

Oops. Strike that. Reverse that. Now we're good.

Safe(r) bananas?

Considering how often these stems of banana must already have been manhandled around by the time they made it onto thhis truck I am wondering whether there were still any spiders (of Banana spider urban legend notoriety) or snakes (venomous of course) left in there.

Maybe that particular legend started much later when bananas started to go directly from field to grocercy in 30 pound cardbord boxes ?

Always amazing how such a lowly fruit can give rise to all sorts of things. From songs (Yes, we have no bananas; Hey Mr. tally man) to politics (the proverbial banana republic).

He'll drive you bananas

Hey girl ... the go-bananas driver resembles cutie pie actor Ryan Gosling, who by the way denies ever having said "Hey girl," much as Cary Grant denied ever having said "Judy, Judy, Judy" ... and in fact never did.

Well, except this once:

Driving somewhere?

This place drives me bananas!

The Banana Saga

The Gros Michel was the only variety of banana eaten in the U.S. from the late 19th century until the 1950s. Then, within just a few years, the Gros Michel was virtually wiped out around the globe by a fungus, Panama Disease. Plantations switched to the Cavendish banana, thought to be immune to the fungus, and that's what we've been putting on our cornflakes ever since.

A happy ending? Not so fast. The Cavendish is susceptible to other strains of fungus, and could also be wiped out, much like the Gros Michel. There's little genetic diversity among bananas. So, a disease may take out the whole population.

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