Brown Bobby Triangle Donut Machine

My grandmother makes donuts several times a year, only instead of being round, they’re in the shape of triangles. They are a family favorite that everyone looks forward to, and frosting and eating the donuts at Thanksgiving is a family tradition.

She makes them with an old paraffin wax donut making machine named the “Brown Bobby Greaseless Donut Machine” that was created in Chicago years and years ago, and sold as restaurant equipment during the depression. Turns out the machine is rare and relatively desirable as cooking equipment goes. The donuts are really popular, and earned my grandmother an article in Iowa Farmer magazine. Here is the downloadable pdf file of that article.

Grandma and the "Brown Bobby" Donut Maker

UPDATE: It’s possible to find Brown Bobby machines on eBay, and my dad bought one a while back. They are quite expensive; you’ll be bidding somewhere around $400 at least.

Here’s an article with more of the history of the Brown Bobby Machine.

Brown Bobby Triangle Donuts

2008 UPDATE: While I appreciate all the interest in this page, I’m uncomfortable with the idea of people attempting to buy and sell their donut makers here on this page in the comments. Ebay is equipped for buying and selling; this page is not, and I’d hate to have any good-hearted person be taken in by potential scams.

If you have a Donut Maker to sell, please post it on an auction site. If you’re looking for one, please visit auction sites to purchase. Thanks. I’m deleting all comments that offer to sell or buy.

Posted in Anecdotes, Journal Tagged with: , , ,
13 comments on “Brown Bobby Triangle Donut Machine
  1. Marijane Wilburn says:

    My grandmother had a Brown Bobby machine. I still have her original booklet for the machine with the recipes included. If anyone is interested I am selling copies of them on EBAY

  2. Ron Ronco says:

    Clarification: I want the machine, not recipes.

  3. Jan McGriff says:

    My Dad has a Brown Bobbie machine that belonged to my Great Grandmother. He is 86 years old and has been looking for a recipe for it. If you have one would you please send me a copy. Thanks!!!

  4. Wyvette McLendon says:

    I inherited my grandmother’s Brown Bobbie machine (still has the original cloth electric cord) and it’s the 12 donut machine. There is someone super interested in purchasing my machine but I do not know how to determine the worth/value of such a desireable appliance. I’m not so sure I want to get rid of it yet due to the sentimental value it holds for me! Thanks for any help with pricing…

  5. jack says:

    I have a 6 hole machine that my grandmother had and my mother passed on to me. It is a tradition to still make donuts every Easter and Christmas.

  6. William deaton says:

    I have a round electric donut maker that makes 6 triangle donuts like the brown bobby. I have had it for 30 years and would like to know more about it. Has anyone ever seen a round brown bobby.

  7. mariana says:

    My aunt gave me my grandmother’s machine to borrow 20 years ago. She later was moving and told me I could keep it until I died as long as I passed it on to her kids instead of mine. I was so grateful! However, she now recanted and demanded it back. My heart is breaking. I grew up with Grandma Mathis’ Brown Bobbies, and have been making them for 20 years. Please, if anyone has a heart, please let me know where I can get my own machine and give this one back without falling appart…

  8. mariana mathis-chambers says:

    marianachambers@hotmail.com
    What makes this even harder is that Dad Mathis died when I was kid, and I just lost my Mom last month. I feel like I’m losing everything.
    replies to above comments:
    #1 Marijane. In addition to the machine, I am interested in the booklet, box, etc.,
    #5 Wyvette. I am interested in your machine.
    #10 William. My Grandmother had two machines–one of them was round. It has been lost.

  9. Sally Fox says:

    I am so surprised to find information on this donut machine. I inherited a round one from my mother who received it from her mother and I passed it on to my daughter who just made some donuts for me and her sister. I gave some to my visiting brother and his wife and he was astounded to see those donuts after all these years.
    I had no idea there were square machines. Ours is round. Thank you so much for creating this website.

  10. Linda says:

    I just read the article in a newspaper my mom gets and it had the recipe, so I made it and put it in my waffle maker. They were awesome! The recipe in the paper was —
    2 C sugar (I cut it to 1 1/2)
    1 C lard (I used canola oil)
    2 C buttermilk (I used kefir, same difference for baking)
    3 eggs
    1 tsp salt
    1 tsp baking soda
    2 tsp baking powder
    2 tsp nutmeg
    4 cups flour

  11. cindy adams says:

    HELP!! I have a greaseless baked donut machine, but it is NOT a brown bobby. It is made by the RAY DO-NUT CO from minneapolis. it is electric, cast iron on the bottom and makes 14 donuts at a time. My mother bought it new, but we can not find any information on it or the company that made it. if anyone can help, please e-mail me at cindyloujoy@yahoo.com

  12. Gerry Petersen says:

    I have a Ray Do-Nut machine I purchased from the company in Waseca, Mn years ago. It makes 14 greaseless donuts at a time. I had anticipated running a small coffee shop which fell through so I have made them to sell or for benefits now and then. My family loves the taste, they think they taste better then any other donut.

  13. jack barrette says:

    Hi, I have the brown bobbie donut machine that was my ggrandmothers.
    I am interested in any recipes that you can send me. Thanks, Jack

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