Skip to Content

Found 130 Resources

Around the World with Doughnuts [magazine page]

Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Page 8 from The Doughnut Magazine, containing reproductions of photographs and drawings depicting the production, sale, and consumption of doughnnuts in England, South Africa, the Arctic, Genoa, and China.

Two women looking through doughnuts

National Museum of American History
Paper-mounted tintype portrait of two women behind a board with assorted items mounted on it; the women are sticking out their tongues and looking through doughnuts, which they are holding to their faces like glasses.

The NMAH Photo History Collection (PHC) has over 3000 tintype photographs dating from the beginnings of the process in 1856 to the present. ‘Tintype’ was coined and became the favored name.

Tintypes in the PHC are found in albums, the Kaynor Union Case collection and as individual photographs. The original tintype process patent was assigned to William and Peter Neff in 1856. William Neff died a short time later, but his son Peter, who named the process Melainotype, continued on with his work. The earliest tintypes in the PHC are a group of more than thirty Peter Neff Melainotypes, some of which date back to 1856 and contain notes written by Peter Neff. Shortly after the Melainotype, Victor Griswold introduced a very similar process on thinner, lighter iron plates and called them Ferrotypes. The PHC has tintypes ranging from rare large images between 5”x7” and 10”x12”down to small images cut to 6mm diameter to fit jewelry. The Melainotypes are between 1/6 plate and 4”x5” in size and many have indistinct images. There are also unexposed Melainotype plates including a pack of 1/6 plates and large whole-plates with four decorated oval borders that were designed to be cut into smaller quarter plates after exposure.

The great majority of tintype photographs are studio portraits, including the very popular ‘Gem’ size (about ¾” x 1”). Almost every gem tintype in the PHC is an individual head and shoulders portraits, the only exceptions seen being a full length portrait and a head and shoulders portrait of a couple. Most of these gem portraits are in small gem albums designed to hold two to six gems per page. However, several gems are mounted on cartes-de-visite (CDV) size cards and set in specifically designed album pages. Some of these CDV mounted gems are in elaborate miniature frames attached to the card. The tintypes larger than gem size show a greater variety of subject matter, but still with a main focus on individual portraits, this is especially true of the smaller 1/16 and 1/9 plate images. Outdoor tintypes are rare. Of the few in the PHC, the most common outdoor subjects noted are people standing in front of their homes and photographs of people proudly standing with, or sitting on, their horse or horses and buggy. One of the largest tintypes is a 9”x 7” outdoor view of a row of townhouses with a couple standing on one of the balconies. There is also an outdoor tintype of men fishing along with another of their days catch.

One common subject in tintype photography, as noted in text books, is the civil war soldier. The durability of the tintype meant that photographs taken in the field could be sent home. However, this category of tintype is not well represented in the PHC, with less than thirty noted due to the fact that the majority of the Smithsonian’s Civil War tintypes are located mainly in the Military History Collection. Most of the PHC examples of Civil War tintypes are in the Kaynor collection of cased images.

A few of the tintypes in the PHC are hand colored. This coloring varies from light tinting of faces and hands to heavy overpainting that obscures the underlying tintype image. A number of the tintypes (about 30) depict people with the apparatus of their occupations. Some are posed studio shots and others appear to be photographs of people at their place of work. Among the occupational views are images of a doctor, grocery deliveryman, weavers, fireman, ice delivery man, craftsman, cobbler, shoe shiners, mail carrier, surveyor, pipe liners and other tintypes of people wearing work clothes and posing with tools. These include a unique full-length gem tintype of a man in work apron with a saw.

Thirty Dozen Doughnuts: Thirty Dozen Taxis

Smithsonian American Art Museum

[Three men frying doughnuts in a garbage can] [black-and-white photoprint]

Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Photographer unidentified

Dunkin' Doughnut Degree [certificate]

Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Blank certificate from "Dunkin' Donuts University" for successful completion of a course in shop management and donut production. A faint photographic image of a doughnut, coffee cup, and spoon is visible behind the text.

Zestful Nourishment / Give to National War Fund. [Defense workers eating doughnuts : black-and-white photoprint]

Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Photographic copy of handposter?

[Illustrated Doughnut poem : color photomechanical print.]

Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Image and poem were used by Mayflower donuts. "As you / ramble on thru / Life, Brother / Whatever be / your Goal, / Keep your / Eye upon the / Doughnut / And not upon / the Hole!"

[Doughnut making machine: black-and-white photoprint]

Archives Center, National Museum of American History
A woman in a white smock stands behnd the machine, apparently operating it. The machine is shown outside the bakery window. Signage in the window indicates that the scene might be in Brooklyn, N.Y. Photographer unidentified.


Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
Teapot (a) of upright donut-shape with spout on one side, D-shaped handle on the other, and flairing circular foot. Lid (b) with long tab handle at top center.

Don't Forget the Salvation Army (My Doughnut Girl) [sheet music]

Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Music by Robert Brown and William Frisch. Words by Elmore Leffingwell and James Lucas. "The only song ever officially recognized and adopted by The...Salvation Army."

Stone "Doughnut"

NMNH - Anthropology Dept.

[The entrance to the Doughnut Hut at the World's Fair]: [black-and-white photoprint]

Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Photographer unidentified

[Salvation Army doughnut girl : black-and-white photoprint copy of a drawing.]

Archives Center, National Museum of American History

Cap'n Dow and the Hole in the Doughnut [book]

Archives Center, National Museum of American History
"By LeGrand" on cover.

[Blindfolded child pinning doughnut to Jack-o-Lantern's mouth : black-and-white photoprint.]

Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Photographer unidentified.

[Boy with Doughnut Eating Champion award, Boys' Club, October 1938 : black-and-white photoprint]

Archives Center, National Museum of American History
In Box 2, Folder 5.

White outline around head and figure of boy, evidently from opaquing on the negative. Photographer unidentified.

[Woman and girl dressed in similar dresses made of doughnut print fabric : black-and-white photoprint.]

Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Photographer unidentified. Haloes around figures (from opaquing on negative?)

Today Is National Doughnut Day

Smithsonian Magazine

How Doughnut-Loving Cops Became a Stereotype

Smithsonian Magazine

From The Simpsons’ Chief Wiggum to the Twin Peaks sheriff’s department, in pop culture police officers and doughnuts go together like peanut butter and jelly. There are few, if any, other professions that are so associated with a specific food as cops and doughnuts that it begs the question of how the sugary snack became a staple for the stereotypical cop’s diet?

As Cara Giamo writes for Atlas Obscura, cops around the United States began to be associated with doughnuts back in the 1950’s, when they were some of the only snacks available to police walking the late-night beat. Back then, doughnut shops were some of the only stores open late at night because they needed to get ready for the morning rush. As a result, they were some of the best options for cops who needed a quick bite to eat, a place to fill out paperwork or make a call, or to simply sit and take a breather, Michael Krondl writes in his book, The Donut.

“When it came to [meals], graveyard cops in the forties and fifties had few choices,” former Seattle Chief of Police Norm Stamper once wrote, Krondl reports. “They could pack lunch, pray for an all-night diner on their beat, or fill up on doughnuts. Doughnuts usually won out. They were, to most palates, tasty, and they were cheap and convenient.”

At the time, Giamo writes, the relationship between doughnut and police officer wasn’t a joke: in fact, it was a point of pride for some shops:

...having officers around made the shop workers feel safe—as early as 1950, one small-time inn owner threatened a larger, litigious hotel chain by boasting, “our High Sheriff and our local troop of state police… help themselves to coffee and doughnuts in my kitchen when the spirit so moves them, which seems about every day.”

In some cases, according to Giamo, police departments had to step in and remind their officers that accepting free doughnuts could give an impression of favor to a person or business that could undermine their roles as impartial law enforcement. Even so, the doughnut had already become married to police in popular culture, as well as the cops walking or driving their nightly beats.

For more on the history of the long relationship between police officer and doughnut, make sure to read Giamo’s article.

Krispy Automatic Ring-King Junior Doughnut Machine

National Museum of American History
The Krispy Automatic Ring-King Junior was introduced by the Krispy Kreme Doughnut Corporation of Winston-Salem, N.C., in the 1950s. It was designed for making the company's signature product—hot glazed doughnuts—in small retail operations around the United States and abroad. The Ring-King Junior could produce about 60 dozen doughnuts an hour, and was used until the late 1960s.

This doughnut machine was part of a collection of artifacts and archival materials donated to the Museum in 1997 on the 60th anniversary of the Krispy Kreme Doughnut Corporation. The collection documents the history of an American business enterprise and also provides a view into food technology, marketing, and southern regional food traditions.

[Lucille Ball eating a doughnut while in costume : black and white photoprint ca. 1950-1960]

Archives Center, National Museum of American History
In Box 6, Folder 1.

Lucille Ball with John Hodiak eating a doughnut while relaxing with other cast members on movie set "two Smart People",1946; photographer unknown.

Size of the donut hole / down through the years [black-and-white photoprint]

Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Photographer unidentified. Man with glasses points to chart.

[Woman giving donuts to injured (?) soldiers]: [black-and-white photoprint]

Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Photographer unidentified
1-24 of 130 Resources