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Perfect Pancakes: 195X

Perfect Pancakes: 195X

Los Angeles circa 1954-57. "Betty Crocker promises you perfect pancakes." No. 2 in series of billboard photos from the files of Pacific Outdoor Advertising. View full size.

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Picture perfect

Good thing this artist and the one doing the Anacin billboard didn't switch places midway. Just imagine --

Betty 1955

I went to the gallery of the various Betty Crockers in the link provided by Dave in the comment of Sewickley. I prefer the smiling woman to the one on the billboard.

I love this thread

I have hand painted many billboards in my career (pre digital) and absolutely love this series. Many people might not realize that in the old days there were men and women who would actually lay out and paint these things.

These would be designed in color, to scale (usually), approved and given to the painters to produce. These could be 20 feet tall and possibly 60 feet long. The backgrounds would be painted white prior to your arrival, so you could break out the chalk, snapline and yardsticks and get to work.

Most were produced indoors, yet working on location was not uncommon.

Just wish these were in color. Wonderful stuff.


Better than Anacin for nervous anxiety.

Betty on TV

Back in those days there was an actress who played Betty Crocker to do commercials on the Art Linkletter "House Party" TV show.

Same billboard!

Neato! Same billboard as the Anacin babe. Where will Number 3 be?

Betty, is that you?

In 1936, Neysa McMein created the first official portrait of Betty, a composite painting that blended the facial features of the female staff in Washburn-Crosby's home service department. (Washburn-Crosby was a predecessor of General Mills.) I suspect that's the Betty see on the billboard.

[Billboard Betty is the 1955 version painted by Hilda Taylor. - Dave]

From 1949 to 1964, Betty was portrayed on television by actress Adelaide Hawley Cumming. I don't see any resemblance between Adelaide and the Betty on the billboard.


The Anacin must have worked. I’m pretty sure that was Betty on that earlier sign; you know — with the headache. Now she’s rested (well, there’s still a little tension in the face), composed and ready to push the pancakes. Let’s hear it for over-the-counter relief!


Note the greying at the temples of Betty Crocker. I imagine this confers gravitas and conveys authority in the kitchen. I guess you want pancakes from your mother or even grandmother rather than from your girlfriend fresh out of Home Ec.

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