What the Sun-Maid Raisin Girl Really Looked Like


Have you ever torn open a box of raisins and wondered whether the girl on the packaging was real?

(Don't all raise your hands at once.)

Well, she was real. Her name was Lorraine Collett Petersen.

From Sun-Maid.com:

"In May 1915, she was discovered drying her black hair curls in the sunny backyard of her parents' home in Fresno, California. She was then asked to pose for a painting while holding a basket tray of fresh grapes. This striking image was first applied to packages of Sun-Maid raisins in 1916 ... The classic 'Sun-Maid Girl' trademark has been modernized and changed several times through the years but has always stayed true to the original image of Lorraine Collett that has been trusted and cherished by consumers around the world for generations."

If for some reason you question the artist's use of a sunbonnet, the company website has this to say:

"Sometimes we forget that in 1915 there were no electric hair dryers, that television would not be invented for decades to come, and that automobiles were not in every home. Life was much simpler, more rural, a lot less hectic and sunbonnets were still part of women’s fashion in California."

Petersen was 90 when she passed away in 1983. According to her Associated Press obituary, after her posing days, she went on to run a restaurant and later converted a hospital into a nursing home.