Almost 60 years ago, 40 youngsters with empty stomachs prepared for a contest of feasting upon desserts of apple, cherry, boysenberry, or pineapple. We found this playful article while we were doing research and knew we had to write about it. As a plus, we were delighted to connect this article to a collection we have of The Daily Times negatives. The Davenport, Iowa Daily Times Newspaper Morgue Collection holds thousands of images taken by the staff of The Daily Times in the early 1960s of a variety of events and places they reported on. During this time period Davenport’s two major newspapers, The Daily Times and The Democrat and Leader, merged to form the Times-Democrat. Some issues of the newspapers published had headers stating The Daily Times or the Times-Democrat.
In the article, three young Davenporters, Decker Ploehn, Pat Duffy, and Tom Genz are featured testing out their pie-eating skills at Garfield Playground. They, unfortunately, did not win the prize: a ribbon and a pie. It appears that they had fun and left satisfied. The fastest eater was Phil Kent who “downed the whole pie in exactly 53 seconds.” He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Byron Kent of 3103 Middle Road.
Photographs by Bob Swanson of The Daily Times, Davenport, Iowa
We traced the popularity of pie-eating contests through the pages and years of the newspaper from 1905 to 1991. In the photo gallery below, we would like to share some fun events featuring activities of devouring this versatile dessert. They range from school and employee picnics to festivals and fairs.
We would like to delight your taste buds and inspire you to have your own pie-eating contests with recipes from our Local Cookbook Collection. We attempted to select recipes based on the four flavors from the 1962 Davenport Playground Style Pie-Eating Contest. The only recipe we were unable to find was one for boysenberry.
“Pie Eating – Davenport Playground Style” The Daily Times vol. 76, August 13, 1962, page 19