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The William Rosenberg Collection

Milne Special Collections and Archives
University of New Hampshire Library

Documents, Images, Clippings and Video Clips from this Collection


About William Rosenberg

William Rosenberg (1916-2002) was born in Dorchester, Massachusetts on June 10, 1916 and died on September 20, 2002. Rosenberg was the founder of the canteen truck business of Industrial Luncheon Service and, more notably, Dunkin’ Donuts. As a pioneer of the franchising industry, he was a co-founder of the International Franchise Association. In the late 1960s, he became interested in harness racing and started the well-regarded Wilrose Farms in East Kingston, NH.

Rosenberg was instrumental in the 1974 passage of the New Hampshire Sire Stakes bill by the NH State House. He also helped to found the International Horse Racing Association in the 1980s. He donated Wilrose Farms to the University of NH in 1980. With this donation, UNH established the first Conference Center for Continuing Study of Franchising and Small Business Administration. The land was sold in 1994 and UNH used the funds from that sale to dedicate the William Rosenberg Chair in Franchising and Entrepreneurship. Having suffered from various types of cancers, Rosenberg used a portion of his fortune through the William Rosenberg Family Foundation to establish the William Rosenberg Professorship in Medicine at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School in 1986.


About Dunkin’ Donuts

After World War II, Rosenberg cashed in his war bonds and borrowed money to start Industrial Luncheon Service which had a commissary and a fleet of canteen trucks that produced and delivered food to industrial plants in various areas of Boston and New England. Noticing that 40% of his business was for doughnuts and coffee, he decided to open a doughnut shop called Open Kettle in Quincy, MA in 1950 which would change its name two years later to Dunkin’ Donuts1. By 1955, Rosenberg had five Dunkin’ Donuts shops and decided to franchise them. The franchises were highly successful and today total over 5,000 shops worldwide.

1. The date of 1950 for the opening of Open Kettle comes from Rosenberg’s autobiography, Time To Make The Donuts. Most other sources give the date of 1948 for that opening and the date of 1950 for the name change to Dunkin’ Donuts.


About the William Rosenberg Collection

The William Rosenberg Collection comprises clippings, correspondence, photographs, documents, ephemera, and various Dunkin’ Donuts publications such as their annual reports ranging from the 1940s to 2002. The highlight of the collection is the original 1960 by-laws for the International Franchise Association which includes Rosenberg’s handwritten notes in the margins.


Use and Reproduction

The materials on this web site have been made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. For these purposes, you may reproduce (print, make photocopies, or download) materials from this web site without prior permission, on the condition that you provide proper attribution of the source in all copies (see copyright statement below). Although we do not require you to contact us in advance for these purposes, we do appreciate hearing from teachers, students, and researchers who are using our resources in interesting ways (please send e-mail to library.special.collections@unh.edu).


About the digitized version of this collection

The digitized version of the William Rosenberg Collection was developed as a project of The Digital Library at the University of New Hampshire.

People who worked on this project:

The pages in this collection were scanned with a UMAX PowerLook 2100XL color flatbed scanner, with Adobe Photoshop on a Dell Optiplex PC. The images are either 24-bit color or 8-bit greyscale 300dpi JPEGs .

A Note about Printing:

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