A model of the United Fruit Company vessel San Jose

Wood, string and paint in an oak and glass case
Collection of the Trustees of the Sailors’ Snug Harbor in the City of New York
Presented to Sailors' Snug Harbor by the Marine Society of the City of New York by its original owner, Captain Trygve Angell, to honor two Sailors’ Snug Harbor Governors who worked for United Fruit Company, Captain Henry R. Patterson and Captain Sydney H. Trew.

The United Fruit Company was an American corporation that traded in tropical fruit, primarily bananas, grown in Central and South American countries, some of which came to be called “banana republics.”  Formed in 1899 and selling fruit in the United States and Europe, United Fruit flourished in the early and mid-20th century.

San Jose, launched in 1904, was one of the first of the company’s three “banana reefers” built to United Fruit design. Along with her sister ship, Esparta, the San Jose was sunk by U-boats during World War II.

Photographs by Michael Falco