Boston Bean Town

Boston – Bean Town

From the Boston Public Library 

Why “Bean Town”

First Speculation

 Massachusetts  with native American roots had always been known for its baked beans,

In addition  it was also noted for its rum.  Both Rhode Island, and Massachusetts were prominently involved in the distilling alcohol allowing them to participate in the “Triangle Trade.”

Boston exported the alcohol to Africa,and exchanged the alcohol for slaves, and subsequently bartered the slaves for molasses which was an ingredient of rum that they produced.

The colonists combined the rum with baked beans which became popular among sailors and merchants who were involved in the Triangular trade and it is said that these merchants and sailors coined the phrase “Bean Town”

A Second  Speculation

In 1890, Boston was the host of a Civil War veteran’s convention and the Beverly Pottery Company handed out small bean pots with beans as souvenirs.  It was this unique gift that some say was the origin of the name “Bean Town”

A Third Speculation

In 1907, Boston pioneered a “Old Home Week” encouraging former residents to revisit.  The program was extensively advertised centered on  a slogan “You Don’t Know Beans Until You Come to Boston” Perhaps this was the origin of the name.


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