[Ads-l] "Banana Split" - Slight antedating, September 1905

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Wed Apr 12 20:22:14 UTC 2023

Garson, is that last line--

More words cannot do justice to this toothsome dish.

--correct as it stands? I'd have expected "Mere words..."

Just as well it got renamed "banana split". It would be confusing to be
expecting a toothsome dessert and end up being served a chili-topped hot
dog, however equally toothsome in its own way.


On Wed, Apr 12, 2023 at 3:49 PM ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com>

> Great work, Peter and Barry.
> This June 1905 citation might be of interest, It describes a
> concoction with overlapping ingredients called a "Coney Island"
> consisting of a banana split in two, ice cream, nuts, fruit, and
> sherbet. It was sold at a soda fountain in Cleveland, Ohio.
> Peter mentioned he already had earlier citations for desserts made
> with similar ingredients, but it might be useful to have the name
> "Coney Island" for this concoction. Note: whipped cream was not
> mentioned.
> Date: June 17, 1905
> Newspaper: Cleveland Plain Dealer
> Newspaper Location: Cleveland, Ohio
> Article: Jap Suey Sundae: A Very Popular Dish of Refreshment—The
> Modern Soda Fountain Furnishes Many Novel Beverages
> Quote Page 12, Column 1
> Database: GenealogyBank
> [Begin excerpt]
> The modern soda fountain is no longer simply a place to get a little
> carbonated water with some flavored syrup In it, like the one of a
> decade ago.
> . . .
> One of the most efficient dispensers in the country is Mr. Slinghart,
> who has charge of the Soda Fountain for Tho Standard Drug Co. in their
> new Store corner Euclid ave. and Erie st., in the Schofleld building.
> . . .
> Another popular Sundae, especially with the ladies, is called "Coney
> Island" and consists of a banana split in two with a mold of ice cream
> at one end and sherbet at the other and fruit or nut salad in center.
> More words cannot do justice to this toothsome dish.
> [End excerpt]
> Garson
> On Tue, Apr 11, 2023 at 5:15 PM Peter Reitan <pjreitan at hotmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > Barry Popik has “banana split” from October 9, 1905, in Fitchburg,
> Massachusetts.
> > https://www.barrypopik.com/index.php/new_york_city/entry/banana_split
> >
> > I found “banana split” from September 28, 1905, in Boston,
> Massachusetts, in a report of the national convention of the National
> Association of Retail Druggists, held September 18-22 that year.
> >
> > [Begin Excerpt]The Murray Co. showed a complete line of soda water
> flavors, so complete that they had undertaken to supply the big Puffer
> “Constellation” fountain in the next booth with everything used or which
> might be called for. . . . A “banana split” was the piece de resistance of
> their menu.[End Excerpt]
> >
> > Pharmaceutical Era, Volume 34, Number 13, September 28, 1905, page 305.
> (HathiTrust)
> >
> > The appearance of “banana split” in a report from the convention is
> significant (to the extent that anything about the history of the banana
> split can be significant) in that it is consistent with another early
> reference, from Soda Fountain magazine in October 1906, that refers to the
> banana split being popularized there, and includes comments from a Boston
> soda dispenser apparently describing how he invented the dessert a little
> more than a year before October 1906.  That article is difficult to find –
> HathiTrust has many years of Soda Fountain magazine, but not that year.
> The only excerpts from it are quoted in a few newspaper articles, and a
> more extensive excerpt in a book called Ice Cream Joe, which I accessed
> through interlibrary loan.
> >
> > Nearly all of the very early examples of “banana split” appear in Boston
> or New England, or nearby, references, suggesting the Boston origin may be
> correct.
> >
> > However, most ice cream “historians” (to the extent there are such
> things) credit a guy named David Strickler, from Latrobe, Pennsylvania,
> with inventing in 1904 – a full year before the NARD convention.
> >
> > I wrote a blog post documenting my slight antedating, and analyzing the
> Latrobe claims.  I am not convinced.  The only documentary evidence in
> support of the 1904 date is a letter Strickler wrote in 1959 in an effort
> to get on the TV show, I’ve Got a Secret – his big secret was that he
> invented the “banana split.”  Other details of the story he told over the
> years do not match contemporary reporting.  The pharmacy he worked at, and
> later owned, did not have a soda fountain until 1905.  The person he
> claimed introduced his invention to the rest of the East coast, through
> medical school classmates in Philadelphia, did not go to medical school
> until two years after the banana split appeared in Boston, and soon
> afterward other places.
> >
> > I also found references to a dessert made with bananas split lengthwise,
> with chilled whipped cream on top – very similar to a banana split, eight
> years earlier.
> >
> > My blog post for anyone interested.
> >
> https://esnpc.blogspot.com/2023/04/banana-split-personalities-who-invented.html
> >
> > Interestingly, to me at least, is that I ran across the early banana
> split antedating while researching the history of paper cups a couple
> months ago.  The first widely marketed paper cup was given away as free
> samples at the 1905 NARD convention in Boston, at the same time the first
> (or very early) banana splits were being served at the same convention.
> The history of the paper cup is also different from the one generally
> repeated by paper cup “historians.”
> >
> > My post about the history of paper cups:
> https://esnpc.blogspot.com/2023/03/rewriting-pulp-fiction-unabridged.html
> >
> > Also interestingly, the man who invented machines to make some of the
> early dixie cup-style paper cups was the same man who invented the stapler,
> gave the first showing of a projected “movie” and also, believe it or not,
> invented the paper Chinese takeout container.
> >
> >
> https://esnpc.blogspot.com/2023/02/chinese-food-staplers-and-oysters.html
> >
> >
> > Sent from Mail<https://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=550986> for
> Windows
> >
> >
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

More information about the Ads-l mailing list