Posts Tagged ‘sara lee’

Betty Crocker’s a Fake!

December 8, 2011

So the holidays are officially upon us. For me, that always means it’s time to whip out that old, huge, red Betty Crocker cookbook. It looks a little something like this:

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Courtesy: PaperBack Swap

For some reason this year, a question popped into my head: Who was Betty Crocker? I wanted to find out about the woman behind the book.

Hey guess what. SHE’S NOT REAL! I know, right?!

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Betty’s “image” has changed many times over the years. Courtesy: MPR

So, do you want to know how Crocker came to be? Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media has the scoop:

“The Washburn Crosby Company of Minneapolis, one of the six big milling companies that merged into General Mills in 1928, received thousands of requests each year in the late 1910s and early 1920s for answers to baking questions.”

So here’s the deal–She was made up to respond to people who wrote the company. “Betty” was considered a friendly, warm first name, and Crocker comes from a retired company exec.

Voila!

But what about her signature? 

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Image Courtesy: Book Marc’s

You see it on everything! Betty’s signature was made by a secretary at the company. Apparently, she entered a contest among other female employees… Can you imagine that? What would that flyer look like?

ENTER TODAY! Calling all female General Mills employees–we need your penmanship! Enter by writing the name of an imaginary character who will become the face of our company!”

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Image Courtesy: Cosplay (Warning: This webpage contains vulgar language)

Uh….yeah.

Didn’t she have a radio show?

Yes, she did! This fake Betty Crocker even had her own radio show that was on the air for nearly THIRTY years. That’s a long time for a fake lady! 

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Image Courtesy: The History Chicks

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Betty Crocker, and will still buy her cookbooks for many moons to come. I just found it interesting how successful Betty Crocker products became–even without a real person!

Hey, want to know who is a real person?! Sara Lee!  

Happy holidays to all–here’s a proper ending. Watch this 1950s Betty Crocker commercial…it’s perfect for your bridge club! 😉

Signing off!

~Christine

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Image Courtesy: Old Recipe Book

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