RE: RIP Stone's of Marshalltown
Sure, I'll give you a link to my website below. The name of the biography is "Duncan Hines: The Man Behind the Cake Mix." Click on the book of your choice and it will take you to the publisher's website, where you can buy it. The final product ended being about half of the original manuscript. The original text was 750 pages. I had to remove about half before they would publish it. The publisher told me that no one would read a book that long. Still, it's a pretty good read.
There are also two other Duncan Hines related books on this site for which I've edited and written introductions. One is "Adventures in Good Cooking." This is a facsimile of the 1955 edition, the final one in which Hines had an editorial hand. This cookbook was first published in 1939 and managed to be one of the top 15 best sellers for that year. It consists of recipes from some of the restaurants that Hines recommended. You probably won't find several of these recipes served in restaurants anymore. It's interesting to see what people ate more than a half-century ago.
The other Hines-related book is somewhat similar in that it consists of desserts served in many of the restaurants Duncan Hines made famous. This volume is called "The Dessert Book." Mercer University Press, the publisher of all these books, took Duncan Hines' 1955 paperback, "Duncan Hines' Dessert Book," reset the type, added my introductions, and produced a very nice, readable coffee table book that you can spread out on your kitchen counter while preparing the various delectable treats within. This was an activity that couldn't be done with the paperback version without having to use two heavy objects to hold back the pages while preparing its contents. This second volume also contains a few recipes by Duncan Hines himself, as well as several of his friends and family who enjoyed food in all its glories as much as he did.
My recommemdation is to buy both cookbooks, as they were initially meant to be sold as a set. If the introductions for each book are read together, one gets a better idea of the entire scope of what people ate 50 to nearly 70 years ago in America's better restaurants between large cities.
The biography was published in January 2002 and the cookbooks were published in November 2002.
If you have any questions, email me, and I'll try to answer them.
For what it's worth, quite a few of the restaurants Duncan Hines recommended are still around, some in better shape than others. I did a survey earlier this year and found nearly 100 that are still in existence that were included in the 1941 edition.
I hope you enjoy the books.