In 1921, a promotion for Gold Medal flour offered consumers a pincushion resembling a flour sack if they correctly completed a jigsaw puzzle of a milling scene. The Washburn Crosby Company, a flour-milling company and largest predecessor of General Mills, Inc., received thousands of responses and a flood of questions about baking. The name Betty Crocker was created to personalize responses to consumer inquiries.
The surname Crocker was chosen to honor a popular, recently retired director of the company, William G. Crocker, whose family name had long been associated with milling. Betty was chosen simply as a friendly sounding name. Female employees were invited to submit sample Betty Crocker signatures; the one judged most distinctive is still used today.
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