Gerber baby food…you were probably fed this when you were a baby…and it was created here in Michigan.

In 1927, in the small Michigan town of Fremont, Dorothy Gerber was at a standstill regarding what to get her baby to eat. Her husband Dan ran the Fremont Canning Company, so she suggested to him to try straining solid foods that could easily be consumed by the baby. After failed attempts at home, Dan decided to give it a shot at his canning company. Straining food at the plant was successful, and soon other co-workers were asking for some of this food for their own babies.

Okay – all fine and dandy – but was the baby depicted on the jars of baby food Dorothy & Dan’s baby? No, it was not.

Over the years, rumors flew about the baby’s identity. One of the most popular rumors was that it was Humphrey Bogart when he was a baby…and other celebrities as well. But none of those were true.

An artist by the name of Dorothy Hope Smith drew a picture of a neighbor baby by the name of Ann Turner.

Ann was the daughter of cartoonist Leslie Turner, who drew the syndicated comic strip, “Captain Easy, Soldier of Fortune” from the 1940s thru the 1960s. Ann grew up to be a mystery writer and English teacher under the name 'Ann Turner Cook' (see her picture in the photo gallery below).

Another innovation for Gerber happened in 1963 when they created the first food tamper-resistant safety cap. And in 1977, they introduced the “use by” dates on the baby food jars.

As of 2020, the original ‘Gerber Baby’, Ann Turner Cook, was alive and well at the age of 93.....turning 94 in November. See photos below!

 

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