Saturday, January 16, 2021

Episode 16 - That Old Banana Magic


Bananas used in a variety of ways
Bananas in the Modern Manner, 1930

Welcome to the supplemental blog post for Episode 16 - That Old Banana Magic! Banana availability during WWII for Americans was a bit of a roller coaster. When they couldn't get fresh, other alternative products were available to them in the form of powdered, dried, and flaked bananas as well as banana flavoring. Due to American obsession with bananas starting in the 1920s-30s, they came up with all sorts of ways to include this nutritious fruit into their diet whether using it as a fruit, starch, or vegetable. 

Enjoy the interesting resources I found during my research!

To check out the Vintage Banana Tuesdays series I did on HISTORY: Preserved click the link HERE:


First up is the classic song "Yes! We Have No Bananas" by Sam Lanin, 1923.

Sheet music cover for
"Yes! We Have No Bananas", 1923
wikimedia commons

Next, here's a fun one you may not have heard before: "I've Never Seen a Straight Banana" by The Columbians, 1927.

And finally, a really quirky song: "I Like Bananas Because They Have No Bones" by Chris Yacich and Lorraine Milne, sung by George Elrick, 1936.


Banana Cart, NYC, 1902
wikimedia commons

Longshoreman transferring bananas
New York, New York
July 1937
wikimedia commons

Shop with Bananas
Missouri, 1906

Soda jerker flipping ice cream into malted milkshakes
(bananas in background)
Corpus Cristi, Texas, 1939
wikimedia commons


And here is an original, unopened tin of banana flakes from 1930s!

COOKBOOK FEATURE: to serve them

If you're feeling brave, give this recipe for Banana Chicken Salad a try! 😁



 I’ve Never Seen a Straight Banana by The Columbians, 1927


Yes! We Have No Bananas, 1923

Or if you prefer to hear it from The Muppets…


The Dark History of Bananas

Chiquita Banana commercial (1940s)


United Fruit Company 1940s Banana Production Film (A somewhat rosy view. Go to time stamp 10:06 to see how the banana plant grows)


1930s Iced Banana Cake



 British Mock Banana Recipe


Going Bananas: United Fruit Ripened in WWII


They Became Banana Boats (U.S. Naval Institute)


The Seldom Taught History of the Banana Wars (showing that things weren’t quite as rosy as newspapers made them out to be) (No citation of sources, so read with a grain of salt)



 Banana Cart, NYC 1902


Longshoreman transferring bananas, 1941-42,_New_York_-_Longshoremen._This_shows_the_prevailing_method_of_transferring_bananas_from_the_end_on_the..._-_NARA_-_518791.tif


Shop with bananas, Missouri 1906


Soda jerker flipping ice cream into malted milkshakes, Texas 1939,_Texas.jpg


Yes! We Have No Bananas sheet music cover!_We_Have_No_Bananas.png


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