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Guide to the Drake Bakeries photographs V1987.007

128 Pierrepont Street
Brooklyn, NY, 11201

Brooklyn Historical Society

Collection processed by Patricia Glowinski

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on November 28, 2011
English. using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Drake Bakeries, Inc..
Title: Drake Bakeries photographs
Dates [inclusive]: circa 1917 to 1949
Quantity: 0.26 Linear feet 61 items contained in one folder and one oversize box.
Graphic materials [Box]: Prints by Accession 62
Graphic materials [Oversize]: Box OS 10
Call Phrase: V1987.007
Sponsor: This collection was processed and described as part of the project, "Uncovering the Secrets of Brooklyn's 19th Century Past: Creation to Consolidation," funded by the Council on Library and Information Resources, with additional support from The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation.

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Historical note

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.


  1. BrandlandUSA. "Day's of Drake's Cake Numbered?" Accessed July 21, 2011.
  2. Drake's. "About us." Accessed July 21, 2011.

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Scope and Contents

The Drake Bakeries photographs, dating from circa 1917 to 1949 and measuring .26 linear feet, consist of 61 black-and-white photographic prints documenting Drake Bakeries, Inc. Nearly all of the photographs measure 8" x 10" with the exception of three smaller prints and two oversize prints. Images include exterior and interior views of the factory that was located at 77 Clinton Avenue in Brooklyn. Front and back exterior views are included, as are interior views of the mixing room and mixing machines, dough production areas, wrapping machines, ovens, and shipping rooms with conveyor belts. Some of the photographs depict workers on the job at the factory. The collection also includes photographic copy prints of illustrated advertisements for Drake's Cakes, as well as photographs documenting Drake's Cakes 9th annual "Kiddy Party"--a three day benefit for underprivileged children of the New York City metropolitan area. The event was held at Luna Park in Coney Island and it featured a no hands cake-eating contest that was held on September 8, 1941. Over 50,000 children attended the three day event. Images of local celebrity cake-eating contest judges, a NBC radio show during production, and two group portraits of Drake Bakeries employees--one of the Drake's Cakes sales force in front of the factory in June 1933 and the other of the 14th annual dinner for salesmen and department heads held on January 13, 1917--are also included in the collection. Descriptive information identifying people, places, and dates are glued to the back of some the photographs.

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Access Points

Document Type

  • Black-and-white prints (photographs)
  • Exterior views
  • Group portraits
  • Interior views
  • Photographs

Subject Organizations

  • Drake Bakeries, Inc..

Subject Topics

  • Advertising -- Bakeries
  • Bakeries -- United States
  • Bakery employees -- New York (State) -- Kings County

Subject Places

  • Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.)
  • Fort Greene (New York, N.Y.)

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Administrative Information

Conditions Governing Access

Open to researchers without restriction.

Conditions Governing Use

Reproduction rights for the photographs have not been evaluated. For information on securing rights to publish or reproduce, please see the Brooklyn Historical Society Reproduction Rights Policy.

Preferred Citation

Identification of item, date (if known); Drake Bakeries photographs, V1987.007, Box number, Object ID number; Brooklyn Historical Society.

Other Finding Aids

Item level description and digital versions of images from the collection are available for searching via the image database in the library. Please consult library staff for more information.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Mary Ellen Garafolo, 1987.

Processing Information note

Fully processed to the item level.

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