Stevenson, Adlai E. (Adlai Ewing), 1900-1965 Search this
3.5 Cubic feet (7 boxes)
Cartoons (humorous images)
New York (N.Y.) -- Food industry
This collection consists of ephemeral materials gathered by Sally L. Steinberg while she was researching her 1987 publication, The Donut Book: The origins, history, literature, lore, taste, etiquette, traditions, techniques, varieties, mathematics, mythology, commerce, philosophy, cuisine, and glory of the donut.
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of ephemeral materials gathered by Sally L. Steinberg while she was researching her 1987 publication, The Donut Book: The origins, history, literature, lore, taste, etiquette, traditions, techniques, varieties, mathematics, mythology, commerce, philosophy, cuisine, and glory of the donut. Photographs comprise the bulk of the collection. These depict doughnut making machines, early doughnut packaging, doughnut shops and doughnut production, doughnut promotional activities (many of them sponsored by DCA), celebrities and entertainment figures with doughnuts, and the role of doughnuts in the military. Other ephemeral materials featuring doughnuts include advertisements, posters, newsclippings, music, examples of doughnut packaging, toys, and artwork. Also included are several publications that feature doughnuts, notably such children's classics as Curious George Learns the Alphabet, Who Needs Donuts?, and Homer Price, as well as a copy of Ms. Levitt's book.
Materials relating to the history of the Doughnut Corporation of America include a 1947 memo entitled "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 (most of which are not in their entirety, since Ms. Steinberg seperated them for the production of her book); a script of the "DCA Merchandising Story"; inter office correspondence from 1947; a 1961 DCA Study of the Donut Market; and a 1973 prospectus for DCA Food Industries, Inc. Also included is a store display figure of "Danny Donut," the symbol of Mayflower Doughnuts. In addition, the collection contains 1980 and 1981 Annual Reports from Dunkin' Donuts, Inc., a sample degree from their "Dunkin' Donuts University," and a large training poster for employees. Also included are in house publications relating to other donut companies, including Krispy Kreme and Winchell, the predecessor of Denny's.
Biographical / Historical:
Sally Levitt Steinberg describes herself as a "doughnut princess," since her grandfather, Adolph Levitt, was America's original "doughnut king." Levitt's family had emigrated to the United States from Russia when he was eight and settled in Milwaukee. In 1920, he moved to New York City, where he invested in a bakery in Harlem. He soon realized that there was a strong consumer demand for doughnuts, sparked by veterans of World War One who fondly remembered those cooked by Salvation Army girls in the trenches in France. Levitt, with a flair for showmanship, placed a kettle in the bakery's window and began to fry doughnuts in it. This attracted crowds of customers, who enjoyed watching the process, smelling the aroma, and eating the doughnuts. Soon, doughnut production could not keep up with the customers' demands.
In consultation with an engineer, Levitt soon developed and patented an automatic doughnut making machine, which he then placed in the bakery's window. The result was the creation of the modern doughnut industry in America. In 1920, Levitt founded the Doughnut Machine Company to make and sell the machine across the country and to sell doughnuts under the tradename of "Mayflower." Soon after, the company began preparing and selling standardized mixes for use in the machine, and began to acquire bakeries in which its products could be made. In 1931, the company opened the first Mayflower doughnut shop at 45th and Broadway in New York City; ultimately, 18 shops were opened across the country the first retail doughnut chain.
The company, which changed its name to the Doughnut Corporation of America, dominated the doughnut industry. Its operations were characterized by a large scale approach, incorporating a full range of product and equipment systems unique in the food industry. As consumers demanded a wider variety of doughnuts from glazed to jelly filled the company developed and manufactured the necessary machinery, prepared the ingredients, and marketed the products. The company diversified its product line in the 1940s to produce pancake mixes and waffle mixes and machinery, including Downyflake Food products. The company is still in operation as DCA Food Industries, Inc.
Materials in the Archives Center:
Materials at the Archives Center, National Museum of American History
The Doughnut Machine Company Scrapbooks (AC #662) contains two scrapbooks documenting the company=s advertising and marketing campaigns, ca. 1928.
The Industry on Parade Film Collection (AC #507) contains a 1956 film (reel #273) about the Doughnut Corporation of America.
The Earl S. Tupper Papers (AC #470) contain a number of World War One photographic postcards that show Salvation Army doughnut girls.
The Warshaw Collection of Business Americana (AC #60) contains four boxes of material on "bakers and baking."
The N W Ayer Collection (AC #59) contains advertising proofsheets for several bakeries.
Collection donated by Sally L. Steinberg, December 12, 1991, 1993, and 2009.
Collection is open for research.
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.