Two different people claim they invented the banana split, one in 1904 and the other in 1907. Originally it was vanilla, chocolate and strawberry ice cream settled between a banana that had been cut in half lengthwise, with chocolate, pineapple and strawberry syrups ladled over the ice creams, then topped with whip cream, nuts and a cherry, served in a “boat” shaped dish.
These days, in my area anyway, you can pick your own ice cream flavors and toppings, it’s only the banana that is consistent. At Bruster’s, on Thursdays, if you bring your own banana, you get your treat for half price.
In 1955 Tom Wahl’s opened in Avon, NY. It was, and still is, a hamburger joint, serving fresh-made burgers, root beer made in-house and ice cream. They ran a promotion that if you could eat two complete banana splits, they were free. My uncle would have been about thirty at the time. He got so many free banana splits they asked him nicely not to take advantage of the special any more. He was building his landscaping business at the time, so after a day working outside, I imagine two banana splits would have made him a fine dessert. Think of all that sugar!
Late update from my sister……the promotion was Eat Three—Get them Free!! They changed the sign to read “except Herb M.”