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The Amazing Story of a Company Symbol and Logo

For many people, even those who don’t cook, the name “Betty Crocker” and the registered trademark symbol shown on the boxes in the image above (the red spoon with the name) is well-known. In fact, many people have used or currently use a Betty Crocker cookbook. The story of Betty Crocker is an interesting one, though.

In 1921, the Washburn-Crosby Company first created Betty Crocker as the result of a contest. She was invented for the purpose of lending credibility to the answers given to questions by customers about the product; Gold Medal Flour. In 1928, the Washburn-Crosby Company combined with several other milling companies to form General Mills and Betty Crocker became the ‘image’ of General Mills. 

Even before that happened, though, Betty Crocker gained notoriety because of the first radio cooking program in the US; The Betty Crocker Cooking School of the Air. The cooking program was a popular success.

In 1930, General Mills began publishing some Betty Crocker cookbooks, mostly having to do with baking and including one regarding Bisquick recipes. During World War II, a Betty Crocker cookbook on general all-purpose baking was produced. In fact, in 1945, Fortune magazine listed Eleanor Roosevelt as the most popular woman in America and Betty Crocker as the second most popular American woman.

In 1949, an actress Adelaide Hawley Cumming appeared on television programs, including her own, as Betty Crocker. In 1950, a colored picture Betty Crocker cookbook was produced with the recipes written by a nutritionist. This was the forerunner of the famous Betty Crocker Cookbook that so many people have used or still do.

Oh, and the name? ‘Betty’ was selected because it was thought to be a cheerful, all-American name. Betty’s last name is in honor of William Crocker, one of the first directors of the Washburn-Crosby Company.

Now you know the story of Betty Crocker, one of the most loved women in America through the years, though she never actually existed.

What do you think?

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Legend

Written by Rex Trulove

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11 Comments

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  1. When I was a kid there were only 2 companies for cake mixes: Betty Crocker and Duncan Hines. Even now, 50 years later, when I go to the grocery store, there may be other brands on the store shelf but I compare those brands to Betty Crocker or Duncan Hines.

    • Both brands are now firmly rooted. Somewhere along the lines, they figured out that although homemade cake mixes are extremely easy and cheap, people would pay money to have all the dry ingredients measured out for them. They’ve made a killing at it ever since. lol

      I should market my own cake mixes locally. I could easily undersell the name brands and could make the mixes far healthier. I don’t know if I ever will, but it is a thought.

    • Although I was a professional cook and a restaurant manager, I actually learned to cook from my Mother and Grandmother. Still, I have two Betty Crocker cookbooks. They are great for getting ideas, if nothing else, and they have great tips.

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