America: Accept The Changing Of The Guard?

Sign of the Times

1,149 words

News reports this week announced that the iconic Gerber baby, the Michigan-based baby food company’s ad symbol and product label familiar to generations of young parents, is being replaced or supplemented by a new face more in keeping with the times—that of an American Mestizo child.

The exact status of the replacement baby remains vague. Though some accounts state that the traditional logo will remain the company logo (“for now,” according to the Left-wing Huffington Post), most major news headlines variously refer to the Amerindian child as “the new Gerber baby,” “the new face of Gerber,” or proclaim that “the original face of Gerber baby food passes the torch to new model.”

From Tanners to Canners

The Gerber Products Company is still headquartered in small, white Fremont, Michigan where it was founded.

The Gerber family came to Fremont in the 1870s. “Gerber” means tanner. It is the German equivalent of the English surname Tanner; both derive from the occupation of leather tanning.

Frank D. Gerber, who co-founded the predecessor company, Fremont Canning (the name was changed to Gerber in 1941), was born in Michigan in 1873. His father in fact owned a tannery, where Gerber began work at age 16 before joining his dad as a partner.

In 1901 Gerber and his father co-founded the Fremont Canning Company to can local farmers’ crops. They closed the tannery four years later. When his father died in 1917, Frank Gerber became president of the canning company, which by then had annual revenues of $1 million.

From Canning to Baby Food

Gerber’s son Daniel joined the firm in 1920. By 1927 Daniel and his wife had a 7-month-old daughter, Sally, who needed strained fruits and vegetables for her diet. Tiring of doing the time-consuming task at home, Daniel’s wife suggested that it might be done more efficiently at the plant.

Daniel took the idea to his father, thinking it might be possible to manufacture and sell such a product to other young families as well. The two men experimented with pureed produce between 1927 and 1928 before launching the baby food line commercially.

In the process they stumbled upon, or created, a heretofore unknown market in the classic manner later described in theoretical terms (i.e., not about Gerber specifically) by Nobel Prize-winning economist Friedrich Hayek, who identified “competition as a discovery procedure.” (See, e.g., “The Use of Knowledge in Society,” 1945.)

Hayek’s formulation remains a key economic insight, since most intellectuals take production and the existence of a massive pool of social wealth as magically given—which they are not. Completely unfamiliar with poverty or shortage, they are convinced the only question is how to divvy up existing wealth from a purely rationalist, non-empirical ideological standpoint.

This is not a small thing to get wrong. It can lead to massive political and social problems.

Within six weeks Gerber Strained Foods attained national distribution to at least some degree, and within six months enjoyed full national distribution. Within a short space of time the Gerbers had created the new US industry of commercial baby food.

By 1941 consumer demand reached a million cans per week, and exceeded adult foods in the production lines. The company dropped its adult foods altogether by 1943 and changed its name from Fremont to Gerber Products, since by then it was devoting itself solely to baby foods.

The company was ideally situated to benefit from the post-World War II baby boom, and adopted as its motto “Babies are our business . . . our only business.” It still controls 83% of the US baby food market.

By 1980 members of the Gerber family, though no longer active in day-to-day operations, still controlled 20% of the company stock. In 1994 Gerber was absorbed by a multinational firm which in 2007 sold it to Swiss-based Nestlé, of which it is now a subsidiary.

The Original Gerber Baby

In 1928, concurrent with the launch of the baby food line, Fremont held a nationwide contest to find a face to represent the company’s new products in its ad campaigns.

Entries poured in from across the nation, some of which were elaborate oil paintings.

But the judges fell in love with a simple charcoal sketch by a Connecticut artist named Dorothy Hope Smith, who specialized in children’s drawings. (E.g., Don’t Kill Her Daddy With Careless Talk. Hey, Dad shouldn’t have been traveling half way around the world to murder other people in the first place.)

Smith had offered to finish the sketch if she won, but the judges insisted that the simple illustration remain a sketch.

The identity of the baby was not revealed until 1978. A nationwide poll showed that people believed the Gerber baby to be Humphrey Bogart, Elizabeth Taylor, Ernest Borgnine, or even Senator Bob Dole.

The true identity of the child, however, was Anne Turner Cook, the daughter of Texas-born New York magazine illustrator Leslie Turner, later the writer-artist of the popular syndicated comic strip Captain Easy, Soldier of Fortune, about a chivalrous Southern adventurer in the classic adventure-hero mold.

Anne Cook, who turns 85 this month, became a schoolteacher in Florida. Following her retirement she published two mystery novels about a female sleuth named Brandy O’Bannon.

The Gerber Company notes,

The image of this happy, healthy baby was soon to become the face that launched a brand, a face recognized and loved across the globe. Indeed, the illustration became so popular that the Gerber Baby has appeared on all Gerber packaging and in every Gerber advertisement. The face has come to represent Gerber’s commitment to happy, healthy babies all over the world.

Race Replacement

The new company model, selected from among 308,000 entries in a nationwide contest, is Mary Jane Montoya, the 8-month-old daughter of Sara and Billy Montoya of Fresno,California. The parents have been awarded a $50,000 cash prize and $15,000 for taxes.

Receiving the torch: 8-month-old Mary Jane Montoya with parents Sara and Billy Montoya of Fresno, California

The racial significance of the change, though not explicitly mentioned by the company or the mass media, was apparent to everyone. Indeed, there was a conspicuous element of implicit racial triumphalism in news reports.

Whether the Establishment media’s wish is father to the thought, or accurately reflects a permanent change in Gerber’s image, remains to be seen.

Nevertheless, it is part of an ongoing process.

After Minneapolis-based General Mills similarly transformed its famous Betty Crocker logo from white to mestiza in 1996, a Jewish (I assume) lesbian professor of Women’s Studies, Linda Heidenreich (at left in photo), celebrated the insult to whites while still grousing that it wasn’t nearly enough.

Even the achievement of total and permanent ethnic cleansing won’t satisfy her ilk.

Whites will ultimately have to imitate Jews and government if they are to survive: pay people well to hate, like Washington State University’s Linda Heidenreich, while simultaneously pitilessly smashing into a bloody pulp anyone who resists.

Jews and the Left define the rules of this genocidal conflict. We have no choice in the matter.

It’s live or die.

This entry was posted in Civic Responsibility, History, Social Criticism, Western Culture and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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