Re: Bananas to the Indianapolis?


Dave Nelson
 

Here is the ICC”s 1% waybill data on Bananas – IIRC for 1950 or 1956, sorted by tons to destination state, descending:

Illinois

101702

Ohio

88553

New York

82495

Michigan

67351

Pennsylvania

62039

California

53921

Texas

37960

Minnesota

33800

Wisconsin

32824

New Jersey

32442

Indiana

29347

Iowa

24723

Missouri

21786

North Carolina

19509

Tennessee

19283

Oregon

17130

West Virginia

15950

Kentucky

15651

Kansas

15179

Washington

13243

Nebraska

12401

Colorado

11929

Alabama

10136

South Carolina

9936

Mississippi

7025

Oklahoma

6675

Arizona

6401

North Dakota

6272

South Dakota

5602

Montana

5369

Arkansas

5366

Florida

5043

Utah

4062

Louisiana

4001

Idaho

3424

Georga

2373

Wyoming

1942

Virginia

939

Maryland

907

Nevada

548

New Mexico

539

 

 

 

 

A lot of speculation can be made from this list – that residents of New Mexico really didn’t much care for bananas; That Maryland used trucks from Baltimore harbor to distribute bananas; That residents of Chicago were either inordinately fond of bananas and/or that Chicago was a center of distribution to other states.

 

Checking on the ICC’s state to state distribution data I see that I was wrong before in suggesting Chicago was a trans-shipment center – it was not (at least was not done by rail).  So apparently the truth of the matter is that in the early 1950’s the residents of Chicago were (and perhaps still are) inordinately fond of bananas, annually consuming 23.34 pounds of rail shipped bananas per capita (in New Mexico it was a mere 1.6 pounds per capita).

 

Having grown up near Chicago I feel obliged to go peel and eat one in respect of the pleasure of finding such interesting historical data. YMMV.

 

From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...]

Hi Dave,

 

               Would the banana traffic have been diverted to other destinations while en-route to Chicago?  Or would the bananas be transloaded in Chicago and sent to other destinations?

 

               I guess my REAL question is whether the bananas at the grocery warehouse in Topeka, KS would have most likely arrived in IC reefers.

 

Regards,

 

-Jeff

 

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