20th Century, Americana, Business, Food, History, Intercession, Minnesota, omnipresent history, women

Betty Crocker 1921


“The Betty Crocker Cooking School of the Air”


“Betty Crocker, General Mills’ symbol of the perfect homemaker, will become known to nine out of ten American women by 1940. Created in 1921 to answer letters about baking problems, she becomes a network-radio personality and cookbook author, and lends her name and changing image to hundreds of products.” *

Betty Crocker became the personification of Washburn Crosby Company which later grew into General Mills. The iconic radio station WCCO, whose call letters are an acronym of the company’s name, was rescued by Washburn Crosby to become her voice. “According to Fortune magazine in April 1945, she was the second best-known woman in America, following First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. Betty Crocker was known as the First Lady of Food.”**

Lord, how does one pray for a “First Lady”, especially a fictional one? We constantly interact with icons and symbols in the present era: through smartphones and devices, in all kinds of advertising, and through mascots of our favorite sports teams. You also use the power of symbols and icons, Good Shepherd, and lead Your sheep to better know and remember You.

I will begin with thanking You for the impact of Betty Crocker on the state of Minnesota. How many millions or billions of bags of beautiful Gold Medal Flour did she sell? How many farmers, truckers, railroad workers, dockworkers, millers, and barge crew members were kept employed by her friendly voice and baking tips? How many families ate dinners, cookies, and pies that were touched by her red spoon? For these, and so many other unmentioned aspects, I give thanks to her creators, the voice of WCCO, and the Washburn Crosby Company. 

Will You bless this company and the genius of personifying the fairly mundane product of spring wheat flour? Will You help the businesses of Minnesota to take joy in meeting the needs of its customers because they are worthy persons created in Your image? Will You bless the imagery of service that Betty Crocker implies: to her family, for her friends, and to herself through the soul-feeding acts of cooking and baking?

“And I will set up over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he shall feed them: he shall feed them and be their shepherd.” Ezekiel 34:23 ESV***

* http://www.mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm






9 thoughts on “Betty Crocker 1921

  1. Shame we do not have Ladies of her quality these days. Far too many obsessed with the so called celebrity culture. Thank you for this it was most interesting, especially for me living here in the UK always hearing about her.

    • Though a personification, Betty Crocker symbolized a happy, Midwestern kitchen most importantly occupied by a loving cook. Ive known a few women in my day whose love language was expressed through simple fare done with great care. I used to bake bread with my Swedish grandma; everyday of her stay. I worked in my Church kitchen doing pans for Mrs Jensen, a jovial but hard working woman who could whip up a dinner for 5 to 500 and somehow make it taste like you were a son.
      Or my buddy Sid whose Egyptian dad would make feasts for international students at the university of Minnesota. He used every pan in the house, which I hated because I always scrubbed pots at his events. But I had to forgive him for introducing me to a world where salt and pepper arent the only spice. That and the sight of him: sweating over huge vats of curry, wearing a turban,(his chefs hat), and habit of eating a raw onion the size of an apple while he cooked.
      My dad couldnt bake to save his soul, but he was the MAN on Saturday breakfast. He was an early riser and would have a huge farm All American farm breakfast ready with: scrambled eggs, coffee, juice, and mountains of pancakes with designs baked in. Usually WWII emblems, roundel, stars, etc.
      I think MY MOM was Betty Crocker. Though she worked as a nurse for nearly 50 years, she never laid an unhealthy plate of ready-made on the table. Or a plate with less than 3 colors of food. Simple stuff done right! God bless her!

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