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.