A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from March 09, 2005
Beantown (Boston nickname)
The city of Beverly, Massachusetts ws known as "beantown" in the 1800s. "In fact it has obtained the sobriquet of 'Beantown'" was cited in an 1859 newspaper.

People from Boston. Massachusetts were called "bean-eaters" frequently in the 1870s. "The Bostonian did not object to being called a bean-eater" was cited in a March 1870 newspaper. A Boston baseball team was called the "Bean-Eaters in a June 25, 1880 newspaper headline: "Boston's Bean-Eaters Get the Wind Knocked Out of Their Sails in Buffalo."

"Beantown" -- meaning Boston, not Beverly -- was cited in print in a June 1882 newspaper. The Boston (MA) Transcript noted in August 1883:

"The catch name of Beantown for Boston is simply amusing, but when a little seven-by none down East newspaper calls this city 'Sullivanville,' it becomes serious."


(Oxford English Dictionary)
bean-eater, n.
slang
U.S. A native, inhabitant, or representative of Boston, Massachussetts; = Beantowner n. at Beantown n. Derivatives.
In pl. freq. as a name or nickname for any of various Boston baseball teams.
1867 G. E. Clark Seven Yrs. of Sailor's Life 252 Take that, you bean-eater.
1889 Brooklyn Daily Eagle 25 Aug. 15/5 The [Giants]..will have to wake up and play ball if they intend to contest that place with the boasting Beaneaters.

Beantown, n.
Origin: Formed within English, by compounding. Etymons: bean n., town n.
Etymology: bean n. + town n., in allusion to the popular association of Boston with baked beans; compare Boston baked beans n. at Boston n.2 Compounds, bean-eater n.
(A nickname for) the city of Boston, Massachusetts.
In quot. 1862 in humorous reference to an unspecified New England town, as contrasted with a Midwestern one.
1862 Vanity Fair (N.Y.) 15 Feb. 88/1 We would compromise the affair by having the following paragraph printed in six consecutive numbers of the Beantown Journal and the Porkville Express.
1883 Washington Post 18 Feb. 5/6 Solid old Boston is delighted with the new play, and if Beantown enthuses over anything it is a big go in every other place.
1901 ‘J. Flynt’ World of Graft ii. 58 P'raps Bean-Town ain't so rotten as Chi..but that ain't the point.

Wikipedia: Atlanta Braves
The Atlanta Braves are a Major League Baseball team based in Atlanta, Georgia. They are in the Eastern Division of the National League.
(...)
Founded: 1871 in Boston, Massachusetts as the Boston Red Stockings of the National Association. The club became a charter member of the National League in 1876 and has remained in the league without a break since then. The Braves are the oldest continuously operating sports franchise in North American sports. Arguably, they can trace their ancestry to the original Cincinnati Red Stockings of 1869-1970, baseball's first openly professional team. When the N.A. formed, the best players from that team re-formed in Boston and took the nickname with them.

Formerly known as: Boston Braves (1912-1952), Milwaukee Braves (1953-1965). Prior to 1912, the Boston team had several unofficial nicknames: "Red Stockings" in the 1870s and 1880s; "Beaneaters" in the 1890s and early 1900s

The Dickson Baseball Dictionary
by Paul Dickson
New York, NY: Facts on File
1989
Pg. 48:
Bean Eaters arch. Nickname for various professional teams from Boston.
1ST 1880 (Chicago Inter Ocean, June 29, EJN)

20 June 1839, The Daily Picayune (New Orleans, LA), pg. 2, col. 3:
Out of Beans, or the Half Mast Flag.
We love a good story, and nobody tells a better one than Deacon Weld of the New York Dispatch. In a recent number of his paper he gives an account of a capital joke played off by a Beverly captain. If Cincinnati is famous for pork, Rowley for pumpkins and Weatherfield for onions, so is Beverly for beans. In fact it has obtained the sobriquet of "Beantown."

Chronicling America
26 March 1870, The Daily Evening Telegraph (Philadelphia, PA), "A Bean-Eater' in Court," pg. 5, col. 1:
The Bostonian did not object to being called a bean-eater -- that he was one was to obvious for him to wish to deny -- ...

15 September 1871, The Free Press and Times (Burlington, VT), pg. 3, col. 3:
"BEAN TOWN." -- Beverly, in Massachusetts, is known as "Bean Town." No virtuous citizen of that place thinks of passing Sunday morning without baked pork and beans for breakfast.

Chronicling America
14 July 1877, Morning Appeal, 'The American Jeremy Diddler," pg. 2, col. 1:
Now the fancy burly bean-eater who does the Washington correspondence to the Boston Herald stepping into the footlights, ...

12 October 1879, Detroit (MI) Free Press, pg. 5, col. 2:
There is one rather disappointed young man in Boston. This is E. S. Spriggens, reporter forthat well known journal, the Daily Beaneater.

Chronicling America
12 February 1880, Daily Dispatch (Richmond, VA), "The Humors of Masonry" (From the Brooklyn Eagle), pg. 4, col. 1:
Why the sedate bean-eater of Boston should have become riotous is one of the mysteries that the physiological ignorance of the age fails to explain, although the favorite Boston dish has certain riotous mysteries of its own.

Chronicling America
14 May 1880, Cincinnati (OH) Daily Star, pg. 1, col. 3:
Boston Bean-eaters Shaken by an Earthquake.

25 June 1880, Cincinnati (OH) Daily Enquirer, pg. 5, col. 3:
'RAH FOR THE REDS,
They Win a Game on Hancock's Day, Beating the Worcesters by Hard, Plucky Work All Around.
The Luck Which Won Cleveland a Victory When Out-Played.
Troy Trampled in the Dust in Chicago, and Boston's Bean-Eaters Get the Wind Knocked Out of Their Sails in Buffalo -- Notes and News -- The Troys Tomorrow.


Chronicling America
22 July 1880, Iron County Register (Ironton, MO), pg. 3, col. 4:
Boston Beans -- The New England City's Favorite Dish.
(From the Boston Herald. -- ed.)

28 July 1880, Boston (MA) Daily Globe, pg. 4:
The Buckeye Boys Get Away
with the Bean-Eaters.

5 September 1880, Chicago (IL) Daily Tribune, pg. 6:
BOSTON VS. TROY
(...)
The Bean-Eaters tallied their runs on errors of Gillespie, Connors, Ferguson, and Keefe, and muffed flies by Trott, Burdock, and Foley enabled the Trojans to cross the home-plate.

10 September 1881, Boston (MA) Daily Globe, pg. 4:
Gotham's Favorites Capture
the Bean-Eaters.

12 June 1882, New Haven (CT) Evening Register, "The 'Hog' Smoke," pg. 1, col. 6:
I made a trip from New York to Boston last week. (...) I counted eighty times and didn't begin to count for a long time, and stopped hours before we reached Beantown.
(This news item was also printed at a later date in a newspaper available on Chornicling America. -- ed.)

18 February 1883, Washington (DC) Post, pg. 5:
Solid old Boston is delighted with the new play, and if Beantown enthuses over anything it is a big go in every other place.

22 August 1883, The Commercial Gazette (Cincinnati, OH), pg. 6, col. 7:
Boston Transcript. -- The catch name of Beantown for Boston is simply amusing, but when a little seven-by none down East newspaper calls this city "Sullivanville," it becomes serious.
(This news item was also printed at a later date in a newspaper available on Chronicling America. -- ed.)

15 May 1884, Boston (MA) Daily Globe, pg. 8:
BOSTON, 4; CHICAGO, 2.

But the Trouble is, New York
Keeps Winning, Too.

Manager Bancroft's Team of Grays Dust the
Diamond with Detroit.

Beantown Unions Too Much for the
Porkopolitan Unions.

4 March 1888, Washington (DC) Post, pg. 1:
Carroll and Gilligan have been offered in exchange for him, and the Boston magnates have gone home to Bean Town to think the matter over.

Chronicling America
13 December 1894, Asheville (NC) Daily Citizen, pg. 2, col. 3:
Why Beverly Was Called Beantown.
The town of Beverly was set off from the town of Salem more than 200 years ago. About that time, it is said, a schooner with a full cargo of beans entered that port. This supplied the whole town with beans; hence the name was given to the inhabitants, "Beverly Beaners." In 1687 the town of Beverly voted to impost a tax of 10 shillings on all future absentees from town meetings. In 1754 28 slaves were owned in the town. The firt Sunday school in America was established in Beverly in 1810, and the fiftieth annversary was celebrated in that place in 1860. In 1824 Geneal Lafayete visited Beverly, and the writer of this saw him as he rode through on horseback. We are told that up to this day those in the vicinity of Beverly call it "the bean town." -- Boston Transcript.

OCLC WorldCat record
The Beantown choir : a farcical entertainment in three acts
Author: Walter Ben Hare
Publisher: Boston : Walter H. Baker & Co., 1919.
Series: Baker's novelty plays
Edition/Format: Print book : English

OCLC WorldCat record
Boston fun-ics : you can talk like bean town
Author: Michael Lawrence Ellis
Publisher: Wayne, Pa. : Valley Forge, ©1993.
Edition/Format: Print book : English
Posted by Barry Popik
Nicknames of Other PlacesBeantown (Boston nickname) • Wednesday, March 09, 2005 • Permalink


Barry,

My grandfather worked on a “Bean Gang” in the early 1900’s. they built new roads around here and were paid in rice and beans.Just wonderin, where the original “Beaneater” name,used by the baseball team, come from? Any similarities in origin?

Posted by thad compton  on  01/27  at  09:57 AM

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