Saturday, March 27, 2010


Though once regarded as a delicacy affordable only to the well-to-do, by the turn of the last century the humble banana was commonplace in Middleborough's fruit stands. So inexpensive and easily available had the fruit become, in fact, that it became the object of eating contests during the period.

Harry Raymond, a post office clerk, is regarded as the champion banana eater of Middleboro. On a wager Monday he disposed of a dozen in as many minutes. [July, 1903]

Apparently not to be outdone, Robert Lincoln, a shoe worker with the D. W. Field Company at Montello in Brockton a number of days later consumed 12 bananas in just 8 minutes prompting one local newspaper to write that "the new sport, banana eating, is growing in popularity."

Fortunately, the "sport" was a passing fad.

"Eat More Fruit", advertisement, 1920s

Brockton Enterprise, "Middleboro's Banana Eater", July 22, 1903, and "Champion Banana Eater", July 25, 1903.


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