Re: Bananas


Tim O'Connor
 


And when there were too many bananas for one train, there would be another
section of the train with another banana attendent. This is the origin of the
term "second banana".

Tim O'Connor


Tom Madden wrote:

The adventure continues. Posted this morning on Trainorders.com by Eugene Crowner:

"Back in the 1950s on the U.P. there was a banana messenger out of Los Angeles that rode in the caboose with the crew. Presumably he accompanied the bananas at least as far as Salt Lake City. The bananas were destined for Utah and Idaho."

I was aware of attendants riding poultry cars, but banana attendants? On the UP??

    Banana messengers were common. Ripening of the banana is quite sensitive to temperature, and the purpose of the messengers was to respond if outside temperature changed more than expected. At stopping points, they could go inside the cars to check inside temperature and authorize whatever measures were needed (open or close vents, add or remove heaters, etc.) There are records of banana messengers leaving banana ports all over the U.S. with cuts of banana reefers.

Tony Thompson

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