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History of Donuts:

Capt. Gregory - The Father of DonutsIn 1847, 16 yrs old, Captain Gregory of Camden, Maine aboard a lime-trading ship was tired of the raw centers and heavy greasiness of the donuts.  His solution was to punch a hole in the center of the dough with a round tin box which created the Fresh fried donutsdonut hole and he later taught his mother the technique. 
Donuts w/holes were cited in print from at least 1861.