These three postcards advertise The American Theatre Wing Stage Door Canteen and its radio show sponsored by Corn Products Refining Company, producers of dextrose sugar. The artwork is by Barney Tobey, a longtime New Yorker Magazine cartoonist
The original Stage Door Canteen was opened in New York in 1942 by the American Theatre Wing as a center for military personnel to socialize with, be entertained and served by theatrical celebrities. It was staffed by Broadway performers and was in the in the basement of the 44th Street Theatre. The Stage Door Canteen operated for three and a half years and inspired a weekly radio show on the Columbia Network, a 1943 musical film, and a popular song called "I Left My Heart at the Stage Door Canteen." Similar canteens were also established in other cities.
Dextrose sugar is a sweetener derived from corn starch. During the World War II years it was promoted as All-American. Dextrose: All-American Corn Sugar shows several Life Magazine ads promoting dextrose and describes the promotion effort as follows:
The problem in the 1940s is: how is the corn refining industry going to transform their cheap sugar substitute, something that food processors don’t even want consumers to know they are using, into a desirable commodity? Answer: by using advertising to rebrand Dextrose as the patriotic, scientific, nurturing alternative to that other sweet stuff.
The first video below is a movie clip, and the second is a recording of the song "I Left My Heart at the Stage Door Canteen."
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