Just the name "Betty Crocker", will most likely bring back warm, fond memories of foods you grew up with, and that are still around today! But, is Betty Crocker real, and if so, how does she continue to look so young? Hmmmm.......
Well folks, you will be surprised to learn that she doesn't really exist! It's100% totally true!! (I'm still in shock!)
It all started in 1921, (over 90 years ago), as a way to respond to the incredible flood of consumer response in regards to a promotion the company ran, and recipe idea requests for "Gold Medal Flour", (owned by the Washburn Crosby Co. at that time.) The company decided to "create" a friendly and knowledgeable character to answer the requests on a more personal level. Thus, the name Betty was taken since it was American and "friendly" sounding, and Crocker was as a tribute to the company's long-standing director. The woman hired who was ultimately responsible for creating the original persona, was Marjorie Z Husted- a businesswoman and home-economist.
And the icon of Betty Crocker was born- teaching women nationwide that cooking could be fun, easy, and "foolproof"!
Since then, Betty Crocker has become a household name, her cook books and recipes treasured by many for decades, and her name still on many products sold today- including: cake mixes, frostings, fruit snacks, Bisquick, Chex cereals, Gold Medal Flour, Hamburger Helper, Old El Paso, Green Giant, Yoplait, and more!!
Here is a timeline of Betty Crocker history:
1921- Betty Crocker is "created", as well as the "Betty Crocker Kitchens".
1924- Betty Crocker debuts in the country's first radio cooking show- "The Betty Crocker Cooking School of the Air".
(Portrayed by Agnes White for over two decades. She also taught actual cooking schools portraying Betty Crocker as well.)
1929- Betty Crocker coupons were introduced in the bags of Gold Medal flour. They were intended to reduce the cost of a set of Oneida flatware, but became so wildly popular, that General Mills offered a whole set of flatware for coupons redeemed.
1930- The first soft-bound cook book was issued by General Mills.
1936- The first ever portrait of Betty Crocker is published. (Never has her image been based on a real person!)
1945- Betty Crocker was named the 2nd most popular American woman in Fortune magazine. (Eleanor Roosevelt was 1st!) Also in this year, she was requested by the "U.S. Office of War Info." to do a 4 month radio program to teach homemakers how to ration food. It was called "Our Nation's Rations".
1949- 1964- The actress Adelaide Hawley Cumming is hired to portray Betty Crocker in commercials, the "George Burns & Gracie Allen" show, and even had her own TV show!
1950- One of the most beloved and well-known cook books was published- "The Betty Crocker Picture Book".
**This book contained iconic recipes such as "Baked Alaska", and the above "Poke Cake".
1954- The legendary "Spoon" logo began appearing on Betty Crocker products.
1954-1977- A competition was implemented for Senior high school students to win scholarships and trips to the national awards ceremonies based on their knowledge of baking, household management, and cooking. It was called the "Betty Crocker Search for the All-American Homemaker of Tomorrow".
2006- The Betty Crocker Catalog went out of business, and a year later, the online store was established.
I hope you found this story to be as interesting as I did! (And I also hope you are not upset with me for revealing the truth behind the name!) I actually found an old Betty Crocker commercial circa 1950's that I thought you may find interesting! (Scroll down to view.)