Sally L. Steinberg Collection of Doughnut Ephemera, 1920s-1987
Steinberg, Sally L (Sally Levitt)
Stevenson, Adlai E (Adlai Ewing) 1900-1965
Skelton, Red 1913-1997
Kennedy, John F (John Fitzgerald) 1917-1963
Brown, Joe E
Eisenhower, Dwight D (Dwight David) 1890-1969
Mayflower Doughnut Shop
Doughnut Machine Company
Doughnut Corporation of America
DCA Food Industries, Inc
Dunkin' Donuts, Inc
3.5 cu. ft.: 7 boxes
Cartoons (humorous images)
New York (N.Y.)
Steinberg describes herself as a "doughnut princess," since her grandfather, Adolph Levitt, was America's original "doughnut king." He was the developer of the automatic doughnut making machine and founder of the modern American doughnut industry. In 1920 he founded the Doughnut Machine Company to make and sell the machine across the country and to sell doughnuts under the name "Mayflower". Soon the company began preparing and selling standardized mixes for the machine, and began to acquire bakeries. In 1931, the company opened the first Mayflower doughnut shop in New York City; ultimately, 18 shops were opened across the country---the first retail doughnut chain. The company changed its name to the Doughnut Corporation of America, dominating the industry through a large-scale approach with a full range of product and equipment systems unique in the food industry. As consumers demanded a wider variety of doughnuts, the company developed and manufactured the necessary machinery, prepared the ingredients, and marketed the products. The company diversified in the 1940s to produce pancake and waffle mixes and machinery, including Downyflake Food products. The company is still in operation as DCA Food Industries, Inc.
Ephemeral materials gathered by Sally L. Steinberg while researching "The Donut Book" (publ. 1987), and a copy of the book. Photographs comprise the bulk of the collection. These depict doughnut-making machines, early doughnut packaging, shops, promotional activities (many of them sponsored by D.C.A.), celebrities and entertainment figures with doughnuts, and the role of doughnuts in World War Two. Also advertisements, posters, news clippings, sheet music, examples of doughnut packaging, and artwork; and several publications that feature doughnuts, notably such children's classics as "Curious George Learns the Alphabet", "Who Needs Donuts?", and "Homer Price". Materials relating to the history of D.C.A. include a 1947 memo, "History of Mayflower Operations, 1933-1944;" pages and clippings from the company's in-house magazines, "The Doughnut Magazine", 1931-1936, and "DCA News", 1945-1947; a 1961 DCA "Study of the Donut Market"; and a 1973 prospectus for DCA Food Industries, Inc.; a store display figure of "Danny Donut," the symbol of Mayflower Doughnuts; a 1980 "Annual Report" from Dunkin' Donuts, Inc., and a sample degree from their "Dunkin' Donuts University."
Photographs: Include entertainers and celebrities with doughnuts [27 items], such as Gracie Allen and George Burns, Lucille Ball and John Hodiak, Zero Mostel (including a contact sheet), Adlai Stevenson, Steve Lawrence and Edie Gorme, Red Skelton, Sid Caesar, Bobby Benson, Jimmy Durante, Pres. John F. Kennedy, Joe E. Brown, and a copy negative of "Major General [sic] Eisenhower, Commander of the American Forces in Europe, samples real American donuts at opening of Washington Club in London."
The 2009 addendum includes: Photographs, catalogs, articles and clippings, a playbill, magazines, a photograph album, audiocassettes and one videocassette.
Sally L. Steinberg Collection of Doughnut Ephemera, 1920s-1987, Archives Center, National Museum of American History