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  • Steinberg, Sally L.
     
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    Sally L. Steinberg Collection of Doughnut Ephemera, 1920s-1987.
     
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    Creator: 
    Steinberg, Sally L. (Sally Levitt) (collector).
    Title: 
    Sally L. Steinberg Collection of Doughnut Ephemera, 1920s-1987.
    Phy. Description: 
    3.5 cu. ft.: 7 boxes.
    Bio / His Notes: 
    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.
    Scope and Content: 
    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.
    Provenance: 
    Collected and donated by Sally Steinberg.
    Finding aids: 
    Register with container list available from the Archives Center. Controls collection at folder level.
    Cite as: 
    Sally L. Steinberg Collection of Doughnut Ephemera, 1920s-1987, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
    Restrictions: 
    Unrestricted research use on site by appointment.
    Probable copyright and trademark restrictions.
    Subject-Topical: 
    Food habits -- United States
    Doughnuts
    Advertising
    Entertainers
    Celebrities
    Periodicals
    Subject - Geographical: 
    New York (N.Y.) -- Food industry
    Subject-Name: 
    Levitt, Adolph
    Allen, Gracie
    Stevenson, Adlai E. (Adlai Ewing), 1900-1965
    Skelton, Red, 1913-1997
    Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald), 1917-1963
    Durante, Jimmy
    Brown, Joe E.
    Eisenhower, Dwight D. (Dwight David), 1890-1969
    Mayflower Doughnut Shop
    Doughnut Machine Company
    Doughnut Corporation of America
    DCA Food Industries, Inc
    Mayflower Doughnuts
    Dunkin' Donuts, Inc.
    Mister Donut
    Form / Genre: 
    Playbills
    Magazines (periodicals) -- 20th century.
    Photographs -- 20th century
    Sheet music
    Posters
    Videocassettes
    Audio cassettes
    Clippings
    Photograph albums
    Advertisements
    Catalogs
    Packaging
    Reports
    Books
    Cartoons (humorous images) -- 20th century.
    Drawings -- 1980-1990.
    Repository Loc: 
    Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of American History : Archives Center. P.O. Box 37012, Suite 1100, MRC 601, Constitution Ave., between 12th and 14th Sts., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20013-7012. Call 202-633-3270 for appointment. Fax: 202-786-2453.
    Local Number: 
    1991.3175 (NMAH Acc.)
    1993.3071 (NMAH Acc.)
    2009. 3069 (NMAH acc.)
    Item Information
    RepositoryCall No. 
    Archives Center at American HistoryACNMAH 0439Add Copy to MyList

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