History Nebraska Blog

Selling Pears by Rail in 1914

Selling pears from a train car (RG3372.PH000013-000019)

“We have no bananas today.”

No bananas, but lots of pears. Refrigerated train cars like the one seen in this postcard, changed the way perishable food items like fruits and meats could be transported across the United States. Today, we don’t think of bananas, oranges, or pears in this case as exotic fruits, but in 1914 the railroad played an important part in diversifying Nebraskans’ diets and expanding their taste buds.

In this postcard, a man identified only as Roy, likely the man at the far left, sells pears from train car in Wymore, Nebraska in 1914. The man at the center of images appears to be filling a bushel basket with pears to transport on his motorcycle. The third man in the light-colored overalls and delivery cap stands in front of horse-drawn wagon.

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