Sadly,the story of Betty Crocker is not the tale of a sweet, matronly woman whose cakesand pieswere so good that they needed to be introduced to the masses. The reality is slightly less compelling. In 1921, the Washburn Crosby Company, a flour-milling outfit, received thousands of responses to a promotion that encouraged consumers to write in and win a pincushion in the shape of their Gold Medal flour bag. Along with the responses were dozens upon dozens of questions about baking. The company created the persona of Betty Crocker to answer the questions, using the surname of William Crocker, a director of the firm who had recently retired.