Newspaper Page Text
fa Banaiina Laed?Oia? ?ff the World's Biggest Plantations
"Thr r?ttln? In done- bp no t-rnr- -|..im-d lu th* buslnrau.''
BY PHAVK O. f'A IlPKNTf n.
. Changulnola. I'mamo
IAM writing this In the centre of one.
of the biggest banana plantation"
on earth. The hill on which I am
fitting Is San feet high and It com?
mand* a view of more than 15.000
acres of the greenest of green. The
green 1? all made up of bananas and
the fields etretch as far as I can see
to the w?s* Beyond them Is another
plantation of 10,000 acres more. The
two plantations belong to the banana
trust, known as th<- l'nlted Fruit Com
ptny. and they are only a part of
the mighty ettate which this company
owns In Central and fiouth America
and In the islinds of the Caribbean
Rea It has taken up about t |e best
banana lsndn of these sections and
It annuallv ships bmanas by the nun- j
dreds of millions. From Its farms come I
something like three.fourths of all the
hsnanas we use. and It Is due to Its,
good business methods that we are'
able to buy this fruit murti cheaper 1
than the apples we raise In our own ,
back yards. Bar.anas from Panama |
are sold In New York. Washington and |
Chicago at from IS to 20 cents a|
dozen, whereas spples of eo.ual ex?
cellence from Oregon. New York or
Virginia bring I cents and upward
A Sen of Bananas.
But as to the extent of the banana
business and the part that this fruit
has In the American stomach, I shall
write later. Lot me give you a view I
of the great banana sea as It la
spread below me At my right are]
the mountains, the upper end of the !
Andes, which at this point are about :
as high as the Blue Ridge and of j
much the same color They Slop? down
to the green and bound w-hat. as 11
look, seems a vast sea. of green bushes..
Now turn and. look to the left. The
sea of green extends <for fifteen miles
In that direction without a break, and
It la the tame at the front and the
back. Almost as far as you can see
there Is green everywhere, except here
and there wher? one of the high trees
of the Jungle was too big; for cutting.
Now take your glass and look more
closely at the plantations helow you.
The green Is not solid. Tou can see
that It is dlvlaed up Into great fields
or farais. each of which contains about
a thousand acres, and that there are
narrow lines of railroads running
through It, with wagon roads here
and there. Those roads were built
to get out the bananas. There are 170
miles of railways on this banana plan?
tation, and they tun through tho farms
like the veins of one's body, reaching
all parts. The roads are about three
feet wide. With a glass you can sc
th?i stool tracks shining out of the
green. On some of the roads are cars
loaded with green bunches, and on the
tntnk line which crosses the estate are
piles of bananas corded up for the
Hovt nannnns Axe Handled.
Now take a iook at that train which
Is approaching the hill. .See, It has
stopped and Is taking on fruit. The
gang of Jamal-3 negroes Is trans?
ferring the piles to the cars. They
handle the fruit very carefully. The
cars have been lined with leaves to
prevent bruising the bananas as the
train goes over the rails. Each bunch
Is lifted up Into the air and passed
from hanil to hand to the men on the
train. There Is no throwing or drop?
ping the bunches. Each Is raised as
tenderly as though it were a baby
and Is laid sof'ly down on the car The'
"Tlir. DA X A VAS OP FROMTHE CAIIS TO THI-", STI* AMKHS OX E\DI.K?S BELTS."
bunches are packer! Just so. and the
men know Just how many will r.t ti I
into a. car nnd how many carlo* i j
Week Sept. 9lh.
September is the month of Carpets and
Rugf, either for the new home or in
preparation for the on-coming winter
months. Our stock is most complete,
and we cordially Invite you to inspect the
collection, whether you purchase or not.
Our window display will give you some
idea of the assortment presented, and the
following list of special price offerings will
indicate the savings to be made in this
8.3x10 6 ft. Extra Quality Tapestry
9x10.6 ft. Extra Quality Tapestry
9x12 ft. Extra Quality Tapestry
9x12 Bungalow Wool and Fibre
9x12 Extra Quality Velvet Rug... .$18.50
9x12 Body Brussels Rug.$26.75
9x12 Axminster Rug.$22.50
9x12 Pro-Brussels Rug. $8.50
A full line of Carpets, Inlaid and
Printed Linoleum?, Oilcloths, Mattings,
All Floo- Coverings Laid Free of
Parlor and Library Furniture
Our stock of'Parlor and Library Furniture is more complete this year than ever before. In
the collection will be found handsome specimens of the various period styles. Both the Parlor
and Library Furniture is adapted in appearance to the purposes intended. The delicate and
more ornate furniture for the parlor and the massive, sturdy furniture for the library. Each cre?
ates the proper atmosphere in the mom. Many single pieces will be found in addition to the
matched suites. All are of correct and artistic design, well made and durable. Special price re?
ductions have been made on the following for this week only:
4 Piece Mission Style Library Suite
(Settee, Arm Chair, Rocker and Side Chair). This suite is designed along massive lines, roomy and ? 1 ^ Q5
comfortable. Scotts are upholstered in chase leather. Regularly S25.00. SPECIAL AT. <J) J. v7 ?-/%}
Frames are made of mahoganized
birch, highly polished and so finished
as to show to best advantage the beau?
tiful grain of the wood. Upholstered
in green plush; either loose scats tied
with cord or the built up f> 1 Q *7 ET
style; SPECIAL AT.... t!5lO./D
will reduce your gas bills; will not rust
or burn out; will hake the same, sides,
top and bottom; will broil or toast
evenly without burning; will not have
Come in and let us demonstrate the
New Method Ranges an 1 explain the
many exclusive features.
The assortment of Bedroom Furniture runs from suites in repro.
ductions of period designs of extremely fine workmanship to
single pieces, which, though low in price, are of excellent con?
struction. The variety is extraordinary.
Dressers like that illustrated, sim?
ple but beautiful in design and made
of the various woods. Beds, Chif
fonniers, Toilet Tables. Washstands,
Bureaus, etc., single and in matched
sets and in the various woods?Ma?
hogany, Circassian Walnut, Quartered
Oak, Bird's-eye Maple, etc.
The prices are very low, and you
are assured of obtaining the best
quality, no matter what your pur?
chase may be. _j .
Purchase your floor coverings
for the new home now and we will
hold them for future delivery when
the home is ready.
Fou s nEE?e* Broad Sts
THE STORE THAT LIVES UP TO ITS ADVERTISING
INTERSTATE ADVERTISING SERVICE
Cash or Credit
Any purchase made may be se?
cured by a small cash deposit, and
the balance of payments arranged
to suit the convenience of the pur?
chaser. Liberal reductions for cash.
It will take for the steamer which la
u carry them to the Unlltd -Stales. I
Jin told that 100 carloads will be
I shipped off to-diiy. The trains will
I carry them down to the port and the
banana.- wlH go from the care on end
j less belta of canvas right Into the
1 steamers. They are put In cold stor?
age, and remain there until they be?
gin to fly out on similar carriers Into
the cold storage cars at New Orleans
or New York.
These bananas will go to New Or?
leans or to Mohllo. from where they
will fly to the chief eitles of the Mis?
sissippi Valley and the lands farther
west. The United Fruit Company
alms to supply our whole country. It
has it divided Into sections, and there
Is a port for ench section. I am
told that the bananao from Port
I.lmon, Costa Rica, which lies sixty
miles away up the coast, all go to
New York and Boston, and th3t those
of Jamaica, are shipped largely to Eu?
The European business is extending
and the fruit company is trying to
educate the people there to eating ba?
nanas. They have done this In the
United States and have built up an Im?
mense market. For - some time they
have had to send fruit to Europe at
a loss, hut the business Is now be?
ginning to pay, and it will eventually
bo of great value.
In the llnnunn Plniitnf Inn*.
But let us go down and take a ride
through this vast banana plantation
We have special cars and ran stop
where we please. We pass for miles
through notlilng but bananas. The
trees sprout from the ground and rise
to the height of/ a two-story house.
Each Is composed of broad rlhbonlike
leave eight or nine Inches wile. The
leaves sprout from the base of the
idant, around which they form a short |
trunk, and then go out In a most
graceful curve, bending over so that
their en-is rustle and wave In the
Now we have left the ears and are
walking through the fruit forest, How
dark It Is. The leaves are so thick
arid so many thut they keep out tho
sun. On every side of us the view
Is the same. There are stalks and
trunks of bananas as far as we can
see, and we wonder what we should
do if we should get lost, and whether
we should not go round and round In i
a circle, as rnen have been known to I
a-t when lost In the wilderness. J
How the Treen Look.
Now take a close look at the plants.
This is near Borar, del Torn, nnd the
banana grows nowhere more luxuriant?
ly than here.
The trees at the base are as big
around as the thigh of President Taft
and the topmost leaves are twenty or
thirty feet from the ground. The
bananas are of great nlir, and the
bunches or Stems are bigger than
those of other parts of the world.
Each st<>m Is known an a hanO. and
the Individual bananas ate called
fingers. Iri many places a hunch of
eight or nine hands Is a fairly good
yield, but here the average Is eleven
or twelve, and some of the bunches
have as many as seventeen hands,
each containing ten or twelve fingers
as the bananas are called.
The bunches range all the wfty from
2R0 to ana bananas, and this means
the yield of one plant. The banana
plant yields only one crop of fruit.
As soon as the bunch Is cut off. the
stem Is cut- down and other plants
sprout up from the roots. There IS
no such thing as planting tho banana
from the seed. If bannas ever had
.seeds they have long nlnce disappeared
from the lack of use. All the plants
now grow from suckers or sprouts,
atjd they come up so readily that tin
estate will yl*>'.d a continuous harvest
from year to year without replaot-1
lng. On some spoto banana treeo I
have reproSuced their kind for fifty 1
"Ther* arc 170 ml leu of rnflrnnd on thin bannnn plnntattnn.n
yeart?. without replanting, and at tho
end the yield was quite as great as
Cutting the Fruit.
Now. let us stop and watch them
cutttnc fruit This requires skill.
The bananas must not fall on the
ground, on the slightest bruise will
make them unfit for shipping. The
cutting Is done by negroes, who are
skilled In the business Th?y use long
lances with sharp steel blades, and
cut half way through the st?m at one
stroke. This makes the bunch fall,
and the cutter catches It as It gently
drops down. Tie now cuts off the
rest of the stem, and the bunch Is
handed to the men who carry it off to
I suppose It makes your mouth water
to think of eating a banana, fresh from
the tree. Fuch a bnnana would surely
cause colic. The fruit ripens '->est by
being cut green, and on al these thou?
sand nerep I cannot see n single yel?
low banana It is only nt the ports
that I have been able to get fruit to
eat. The green bananas will keep two
or three weekn after euttlne. and If
cut at the rieht time they taste better
by being allowed to ripen on the way
to the markets.
Six Thoiinnnd Workmen.
Many people think that there Is but
little labor in raising bananas. There
was never a greater mistake. When
the United Fruit Company took up
these thousands of acres, they were
covered with a lungle as dense as that
on the slopes of the Himalaya moun?
tains. The ground was covered with
mighty trees, some of which were lfiO
feet high. These trees were hound
together with vines and lianas, which
were matted together and formed a
network of woven vegetation. There
were palms of a score of varieties, and
the mass of green was so dense that
you could only cut your way through
with a knife and an axe. All of this
jungle had to ibe cut down and turned
over. The big trees, some of which
were as large around ub a flour barrel,
and some bad even the diameter of a
hogshead, were left to rot where they
After the land was cleared and
burned over, the plants had to be set
out at 200 hills to the acre. They had
to be kept clean of weeds, and this,
notwithstanding their nature here Is
so generous that if the land Is left
free for six months It will all be Jungle
And then some of the lands were
swampy and they had to be ditched.
The rainfall here Is ten inches a month,
or 110 Inches a year, and the banana
tree will not grow with Its feet In the
water. in some other banana plan?
tations the land Is so dry that irri?
gation is needed, but here the rainfall
Is Just tight. In planning the planta?
tions, mads and railroads were built.
Farmhouses and homes for the men
were put up at every few miles, and
blacksmith shops, stores and offices
Altogether It takes about s.onn men
to work these plantations, and the
community has to be housed, cared for,
HOW the I.nhor I? Handled.
Tf.c most of the men who work on
this banana estate are Jamaica negroes,
who wore brought here for t.io pur?
pose. They live In little shacks scat?
tered here and there along the railroad,
and they go out from them to their
labor. The offlclnls on! foremen are
Whites, and the responsible parts of
the work are done by Americans sent
here from the United States. These'
men are the best of their kind, and
they receive excellent wages The
negroes are paid about the same that
the Jamaicans receive on the Panama
Cftnal, and their labor Is about as ein-;
A great deal of the work i* done by
the piece, and the man gets uo m ich
for clearing, so much for planting and
cleaning and so much for picking the
fruit. As It Is now It costs about $20
per acre to clear the land, and the
managers can tell you lust how much
every plant costs. They hav<? cost
sheet? like those of a great factory and
con tell to the tenth of a cert the
outlay spent on each bunch of nananas
and where every cent goes. It ii only
by such methods that bananas can he
sold et the prices they bring In the
.States and still give a profit. " The
whole business Is one of petty econ?
omies, which In the aggregate m*an a
saving of hundreds of thousands of
Not n Whittling nuMneas.
As I walked through the fielt s and
watched the rrreit green bunchei being
cut hy tho hundreds and carried off lo
the cars. 1 nsk?d one of the firemen
ff there would not be hie; moi.ey for
an American to come here and start a
rival fruit trust, and whether a man
with a small amount of mon'y could
not engage ,n the business at a profit.
"It might seem ao if you did not
know the facts. The truth \u that thla
Is no whittling business Yon havo
got to have. ? big ?Oplial and enough
to lake cara of all kinds of accidents.
Somotimes a disease will wipe out a
plantation, nt.o again a storm blows
?up and we lose the whol6 crop, .lust a
few rp.ontha ago we had a hurricane
her? which destroyed 1SO.O00 bunches of
banana? In the space of five minutee/
That happens every now ajid than, and.
If the property was that of a small)
farmer It would mean total ruin. A?i
big- i-oneern like this can stand ft on,:
account of the profit It receives from
Its other plantations. As It Is now
there are many small plantations, but
thev sell their bananas to us. W? pay
them 2S cents a bunch, and at that they'
can do very well. Nevertheless, that
total product of such men about her*.
Is only 2.ana bunches a week, whleW
is a bagatelle In comparison with the
lOO.orjii bunches wo ship during that1
time. As to a rival trust. th,at might/
succeed, but It needs good lands and.
a Meet of ships and also good merket-'
lng facilities in the United 8tates."
One hundred thousand bunches ej
week The men utter these words asi
though they meant nothing. N^verthe.-'
less, they were astonishing: to maJ
Hnve you any Idea what 100,000 bunchag
ft week means? It means B.lOO.OOOl
bunches of bananas a yoar. for the<
banana, business goes on all the yean
A single bunch oontalns 150 bansnas, ?
and from this place alone they ars'
for,h something like 750.000,.
nnn ni>r annum. Wo have IOO.000.000
peop * m the rnitod States. Including
AUSka and the Philippine Islands..
These plantations could give every one
of us seven banana* and have 60.000,
aoft tr, spare, it could give thlrty-fivs
to every family. But this Is onlv one
of the t'nlted Fruit Companv. " The
"anana trust haB ?r.ox?a of others, and
it hhips from Costa Rica almost double
as many bananas as from here.
It ?hlps a vast deal from Cartagena,
and It is building up In Guatemala big
plantations, which I hope to visit
within the next few months. The
business I? Increasing and the demand
for bananas Is Increasing as well.
The United States Is now using 60,
00ft. ooo bunchos of bananas every
twelve months, or about 300.000.000
ringers per annum. You can now get
a good banana for a cent or two al?
most anywhere in our country, and
the business has tn be big In order to'
I ant told that It pays well. It pays
not only the capitalists who handle It.
hut also the countries where the'
banana? ar? grown. It If one of the chief
chief of revenue of the treasuries of
Panama, Costa Rlea. Honduras and
Guatemala, and It Is giving the work?
ing men of the West India Islands;
wngeg beyond what they can obtain
anywhere else. Indeed, much of the
development which la now going on In
this part of the world comes from,
the banana; and the future of th.es?
countries Is bright through, the in?
crease of the consumption of bananas
abroad. The'r use la growing by leaps
and bounds In the United States, and;
they are now making their way Into
the thickly populated countrlos of Eu?
I rope as well.
(Copyright, IMt, by Frank' O. Cay
Tells of its superiority more forcibly
than words. The voices of MILLI0N3
call for it at the grocery store.
Merit has made it the choice of tha
people. No other Baking Powder
costing so little does so much.
Broad Rock Water
\ts daily use is the best and thq
least expensive form of ad/
HEALTH INSURANCE. *
Wedding Invitations and Stationery fW
iTI special occasions. Samples oa r*.
I Ball Book and Stationary CoSsptStf
L <ui East M?ta?