Wide eyes stare out from countless store shelves and inside cupboards in millions of American homes. The angelic face of an adorable infant is an instantly recognized icon for the baby food and accessories manufacturer Gerber Products Company – but just who is the individual behind the famous face?
Gerber set up shop a century ago in Fremont, Michigan in 1927. Founder Daniel Frank Gerber already owned a canning company, but when his daughter, Sally, came along he spotted a gap in the market for canned baby food. The new company needed a logo to help brand its product, so in 1928 it turned to the general public for their help. Gerber held a competition, asking people to submit pictures or suggestions to be considered as the new face of its products – and someone in a north-eastern state took them literally.
In November 1926, a family in Connecticut welcomed a beautiful bouncing baby girl. Ann Turner Cook was a wide-eyed infant with a seemingly permanent curious expression etched on her cherubic face – an adorable look which caught the attention of an artistic family friend and Westport neighbor.