Real or Not Real??? A Brief History of Food Names.

Betty Crocker

Not a real person! The “Betty Crocker” name was presented to the world in 1921 by the advertising executives at Gold Medal flour. It was thought by the team that the name “Betty”, was the most friendly of all of the names considered. “Crocker” originated from William G. Crocker, a Gold Medal executive who had retired only months before the introduction of “Betty Crocker”. The famous Betty Crocker signature was written by an unnamed female employee of Gold Medal.

Dr Pepper (no period behind Dr)

Not a real person! Dr Pepper stands as the oldest major brand name soda in the United States. It was created by pharmacist Charles Alderton in 1885 and first sold at Morrison’s Old Corner Drug Store, in Waco Texas.

Uncle Ben (Rice)

A real person! (Maybe) Legend tells that the founders of Converted Rice Incorporated were having dinner in a Chicago restaurant and pouring over ideas regarding a new ad campaign. Their waiter told them of an old black rice farmer in Houston, Texas, named “Uncle Ben” who provided “the highest quality rice” to the mills and his customers. Although the “Uncle Ben’s” named has been a part of American food history since 1940, the true origin of Houston’s own, Uncle Ben remains an indelible mystery in America’s Strange History.

Aunt Jemima

Not a real person! ‘Aunt Jemima pancake mix’ debuted in 1889 and received it’s name from the 1875, Billy Kersand song “Old Aunt Jemima”. The first person to play the “Aunt Jemima” character for the R.T. Davis Milling Company (later purchased by Quaker Oats Company) was a former slave, Nancy Green. Nancy, as “Aunt Jemima”, toured the U.S. representing and demonstrating ‘Aunt Jemima pancake mix’ for thirty-three years, during which she presented ‘Aunt Jemima’ at the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago. Her booth was located next to the “Largest Flour Barrel in the World”.

Sara Lee

A real person! Baking entrepreneur, Charlie Lubin, created a line of cheesecakes which he named “Sara Lee’s” for his eight year old daughter, Sara Lee Lubin. Within a year, Lubin sold his cheesecake recipe and the “Sara Lee” name to Consolidated Foods, presented day Sara Lee Corporation.

Mr. PiBB(two capital B’s)

Not a real person! Mr. PiBB was born from the Coca-Cola Company in 1972. Lawsuits regarding Mr Pibb’s close resemblance to Dr Pepper, caused the company to change the name to incorporate two capital b’s.

Little Debbie

A real person! The cute girl in a straw hat and blue checked shirt is none other than Debbie McKee, the four year old granddaughter of McKee Foods founder, O.D. McKee. The “Little Debbie” line of snack cakes were first packaged as a family-pack and introduced to U.S. households in 1960, featuring the little Debbie McKee’s likeness. It was then that Debbie’s parents, Ellsworth and Sharon McKee, discovered that their daughter’s name and likeness had been used for the product.

More StrangeHistory.org Food Facts…………….

Campbell’s Soup

In 1900, Campbell’s Soup, which had been founded in 1869 by Joseph A. Campbell, adopted the iconic red and white label with the metallic gold seal and the words, Paris International Exposition. The seal from the 1900 Paris Exhibition while the red and white represents the colors for Cornell University, the alma-ata of Campbell’s executive, Herberton Williams.

Underwood Deviled Ham

The William Underwood Company, founded in 1822, began to can food in steel cans in 1836. William Underwood was the first person to perfect the canning of meats and vegetables for store shelves and holds a place in Strange History as the oldest canner in America.