Photo of the Week: Drake Bakery photographs

Girl Contestants, 1941, V1987.7.53; Drake Bakeries photographs, v1987.007; Brooklyn Historical Society.

Girl Contestants, 1941, V1987.7.53; Drake Bakeries photographs, v1987.007; Brooklyn Historical Society.

The photo of the week depicts children participating in a 1941 cake-eating event sponsored by Drake Bakeries at Luna Park in the Coney Island neighborhood of Brooklyn. Eight young women are shown with hands behind their backs, competing to try to eat an entire cake. The judges, singers Diane Courtney and Bradford Reynolds are pictured in the background. Drake Bakeries hosted a three-day “Kiddy Party” at Luna Park where a reported 50,000 children participated.

Drake’s Cakes was a brand of snack cakes founded in Brooklyn by Newman E. Drake in 1888. The company originally sold pound cake by the slice. An early iteration of the company was called Drake Brothers Co. located at 1006 Wallabout Market in Brooklyn. Around 1900, the company became Drake Bakeries, Inc. In 1903, the company built a factory and offices located at 77 Clinton Avenue on the border of the Fort Greene and Clinton Hill neighborhoods of Brooklyn. Well known products produced by the company included Ring Dings, Yodels, Devil Dogs, and coffee cake, all of which are still available today. Drake Bakeries were also one of the few kosher snack cake companies in the United States. In the 1960s, the company was sold to a large food manufacturing company. Over the years, the brand has been resold to various corporations. Today, the brand, now known just as Drake’s, is owned by Hostess Brands. As of 2011, the Drake’s Bakeries, Inc. factory is the home of the Benjamin Benneker Academy for Community Development.

This photograph comes from the Drake Bakeries photographs collection comprised of 61 black-and-white photographic prints documenting Drake Bakeries, Inc. Images include exterior and exterior views of the factory that was located at 77 Clinton Avenue in Brooklyn.

Interested in seeing more photos from BHS’s collection? Visit our online image gallery, which includes a selection of our images. Interested in seeing even more historic Brooklyn images? Visit our Brooklyn Visual Heritage website here. To search BHS’s entire collection of images, archives, maps, and special collections visit BHS’s Othmer Library Wed-Sat, 1:00-5:00 p.m. library@brooklynhistory.org

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One Response to Photo of the Week: Drake Bakery photographs

  1. Why only girls participate in this game?

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