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100 Years

Belshaw’s History in the Making

100 Years of Baking it Big

As we come together to celebrate our 100th anniversary, Belshaw presents our all-time favorite donut facts, quotes, and historical achievements that make us proud to be the #1 source for donut equipment.

    Timeline of Events

    Donut glaze over 100 years of success. With over a century of experience under our belts, Belshaw’s contributions to the donut industry continue to support artisan donut shops, wholesale bakeries, franchise chains, and more.

    Hand-picked Highlights

    In honor of Belshaw’s 100-year anniversary, the team compiled our favorite donut facts and quotes of all time. From uncovering Belshaw’s historical achievements to reflecting on the many donut origin stories, we’ve sprinkled our top choices below.

    Belshaw-based Facts

    • Thomas E. Belshaw’s name appears on many patents and in the American Society of Baking’s Hall of Fame
    • Belshaw was featured on the Food Network’s “Unwrapped,” highlighting how every major donut chain, from Krispy Kreme to Dunkin’ Donuts uses Belshaw equipment
    • At the Seattle World’s Fair in 1962, Belshaw’s Donut Robot® made a splash

    Donut Origin Stories

    • The origin of the doughnut is unknown, though different nationalities have had their own version of the treat throughout history.
    • Most of the colonists who brought the donut over to America don’t know who actually “did it” first. Washington Irving said it was the Dutch.
    • The Dutch are reputed to have had the first donut shop in the New World.
    • “Doughnut” is the more traditional spelling, although its shortened form, “donut,” is also acceptable. The shortened “donut” has been around since the late 1800s.

    Everything You Want to Know About Donuts

    • The Oxford English Dictionary and many other dictionaries say that a doughnut is a small cake sweetened and fried in oil
    • The donut has served as a national symbol through wars, hot and cold, and the Great Depression
    • The donut has survived the onslaught of trendy pastry options since 1809
    • Donuts are America’s #1 baked dessert, and in the bakery, they’re second only to bread
    • There was a Donut Tower at the first World’s Fair in 1851
    • In the 1930s, a dozen donuts in wax paper cost 15 cents
    • Before the first donut machine, donuts were made by hand in a frying pan or over a pot of oil
    • Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt had an All-American diet and ate donuts for coffee and tea time

    Unique Flavor Donut Craze

    • Sweet & Savory: Chicken & Waffles, Maple Bacon, Caramel Sea Salt
    • Herbal: Rosemary Olive Oil, Lavender Honey, Matcha Green Tea
    • Spicy: Wasabi Cheese, Southern Spice, Sriracha Chocolate
    • Fun: Bubble Gum, Champagne, Cotton Candy

    Famous Donut Mentions

    • Julia Child said, “I think good plain donuts are a lovely eatment.”
    • “Donuts. Is there anything they can’t do?” — line from The Simpsons where a runaway train runs into a pile of donuts
    • Famous writer, Henry Thoreau, said in 1847: “The skylight…[was] the size of an oblong doughnut, and about as opaque.”
    • “In America, because of their vast popularity, they have become a part of folklore. Rising above dessert or snack, they have come to represent this land.” (pg. 75, The Doughnut Book)

    A Holesome Story

    • In 1941, there was a Great Doughnut Debate held in New York at the Hotel Astor. The subject was: “Who Put the Hole in the Doughnut?”
    • It’s been told that a “fried cake” with a hole was found petrified under the lava at Pompeii
    • The first device to produce a donut with a hole was the donut cutter, invented by John Blondel in 1872 in Maine (it was a spring cutter with a center tube)
    • From a Zen meditation: “The circle is a whole but also a hole”

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