United Fruit Company
The United Fruit Company was formed in 1899 when the Boston Fruit Company merged with several other companies that produced, imported, and marketed bananas from the Caribbean islands, Central America, and Colombia. The principal founder was Minor C. Keith, who developed banana plantations in Costa Rica beginning in the 1870s. During the early decades of the twentieth century, United Fruit’s distribution networks spread throughout the United States and Europe. By 1930, the company had absorbed more than twenty rival firms and was the largest employer in Central America.
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Overview: The papers of Harvard Business School professor Andrew R. Towl include correspondence, teaching materials, research and writing, and administrative records.