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Main Banana Discussion This is where we discuss our banana collections; tips on growing bananas, tips on harvesting bananas, sharing our banana photos and stories.


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Old 10-15-2010, 08:21 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default The Banana Knife-- A Great American Tool

Every once in a while I click over to eBay and look for Banana related items. Not long ago I found some interesting Banana Knives. eBay is full of various types of Banana knives. Some are actually banana slicers for making perfect discs for Bananas Foster, others are knives that are yellow(like a banana), a few are vintage single thin blade knives used by the fruit industry to open and test fruits. However, one seller that I came a cross was selling a curious Box of 6 Banana Knives.

I Paypalled the seller in TN and 2 days later I got this box of knives.



I did a close examination of one of the knives and some things of interest.



It had a 4 inch handle and a 6 inch curved blade. The curved blade was likely to assist the removal of the hand from the bunch. If you have ever tried attempt this feat with a straight blade knife you’ll know that it takes extreme care not to injure the nearby fruits. What was most curious was that opposite the curve there was a nearly 2 inch straight part of the knife that was sharpened.



There was some writing on the blade that read “Russell Green River Works Made In U.S.A.”





I looked into Russel Green River Works and found that this is one of the oldest knife companies in the United States. It was originally founded in New England in 1818 and was the first cutlery company in the United States. Through mergers and acquisitions its been come to be known as Dexter-Russell Inc and now produces the broadest line of professional cutlery made by any single manufacturer in the world.They are located in South Hampton, Mass.

I was curious about the knives and the age of them as they did not appear in the Dexter-Russell on-line catalog. I fired off an email to the contact listed on the D-R website.

B.R. from Dexter Russell informed me that they have not regularly manufactured the knives for 5-6 years. He guessed the design was originated in the 1880s. This seems consistent as I found an 1899 ad on eBay which included Banana Knives.




Here is an ad for sale on eBay for a 1922 version:




B.R. from Dexter-Russell sent me an image from 1924 Green River Works catalog





Here is an ad on sale at eBay from 1939:




and another ad on eBay from 1949:



BR from Dexter Russel also sent this image from their 1979 Catalog. This appears to be the model from 1983.


Here is a 'modern' version that is listed on eBay for use in the automobile windshield industry.



Similar knives are sold as banana knives around the world such as this one from perhaps Australia:



I have seen some from China as well. The non US styles lack the straight portion of the blade. B.R. from Dexter-Russell reckoned it was still used in the windshield gasket industry but he had no idea how the produce merchants used it on the banana bunches.

I took one of the knives out and tested it on the drooped leaves of a Raja Puri.



I know it was not designed exactly for this task, but with the curved blade, it did work perfectly.


Sorry for the long winded, image heavy post, but I found this interesting.
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Old 10-15-2010, 09:49 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Banana Knife-- A Great American Tool

Isn't this knife similar to the ones used in the DVD?
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Old 10-15-2010, 09:52 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Banana Knife-- A Great American Tool

Perhaps! I was thinking I had seen one somewhere in a video, but could not find it on YouTube. I'll peruse my copy.
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Old 10-15-2010, 11:15 AM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: The Banana Knife-- A Great American Tool

Thanks for the post. I might have to get me one of those knives! Hopefully I can find one on Ebay.
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Old 10-15-2010, 12:35 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Banana Knife-- A Great American Tool

Thanks-interesting history.
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Old 10-15-2010, 04:39 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Banana Knife-- A Great American Tool

Great post and not too long at all! I have an inexpensive one i use mostly for removing leaves... and one flower But you can't go wrong with Russell Knives.
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Old 10-15-2010, 06:21 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Banana Knife-- A Great American Tool

Great history, thanks for sharing.
On another note, I just saw your Facebook page and in it the link to read about your new property in Costa Rica. Congratulations! Did you post a thread about it? Sorry if I missed it.
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Old 10-15-2010, 06:27 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Banana Knife-- A Great American Tool

Found it! Ok...Here's the scoop:
reading now..
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Old 10-15-2010, 09:36 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Banana Knife-- A Great American Tool

That's the first I've seen of those type of knives, I may have to get one if I ever get fruit, he he.
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Old 10-20-2010, 01:01 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Banana Knife-- A Great American Tool

I have a banana dehanding knife with an orange handle, and you know what the biggest problem I have is getting the thing clean.
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Old 06-19-2016, 11:25 AM   #11 (permalink)
 
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Joy Is this The Banana Knife

Hi, good morning to everyone.
I'm from Argentina.
Sometime ago I bought this knife because I was intrigued with its design.
I wrote to the factory and they could not tell me what it was for.
Now I write to your forum and perhaps someone can tell me if this is a banana harvesting knife.
Thanks in advance.
A very nice forum.
Carlos Toscani



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Old 06-19-2016, 02:26 PM   #12 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: The Banana Knife-- A Great American Tool

I am more interested in the tool you guys found for removing pups without tearing up all the roots around it from the parent plant.
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Varieties I supposedly bought: Manzano, Cavendish, Blue Java, Sweetheart, and Gros Michel.
What it seems I actually have: Brazilian, Cavendish, Namwah, Dwarf Red, Gros Michel, Pisang Ceylon, Veinte Cohol and SH 3640, and American Goldfinger. FHIA 1, Paggi and FHIA 17... Always room for one more.
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Old 06-19-2016, 05:23 PM   #13 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: The Banana Knife-- A Great American Tool

Cool find. Has anyone used a linoleum knife to remove a hand of bananas?
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Old 06-25-2016, 09:39 AM   #14 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: The Banana Knife-- A Great American Tool

Quote:
Originally Posted by scashaggy View Post
Cool find. Has anyone used a linoleum knife to remove a hand of bananas?
I tried but they're too short to be multi purpose. I found a long heavy blade serrated bread knife works great for all banana chores.

I got mine in a thrift store for a dollar.
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