the sun-maid girl

The Sun-Maid Girl Represented Exclusively for Print, Video & Film by YOUR NAME HERE Red. Reach for it

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A look at the girl on the "little red boxes."


  • The Sun-Maid GirlRepresented Exclusively for

    Print, Video & Film byYOUR NAME


    Red. Reach for it

  • The Sun-Maid GirlRepresented Exclusively for

    Print, Video & Film byYOUR NAME


    Lorraine (The Sun-Maid Girl)DESCRIPTION:

    Height: 5 5Weight: 125 lbsHair: BlackEyes: BrownHobbies: Im an elementary school teacher by day, and when Im not at school, you can usually catch me cooking up a storm in my kitchen, watching a movie, listening to music, or trying out the latest fitness fads, though my all-time favorites are yoga, surfing, and hiking. Ill grab my suitcase and travel any chance I get, though I always love coming back home to the California sunshine.


    Born and raised in Californias Central Valley, Lorraine, known to millions as The Sun-Maid Girl, has been a staple of Americana for more than a century. Having been discovered by talent agents as she dried her curly locks in the warm California sun as a young girl, Lorraine has demonstrated tremendous versatility by excelling at nearly everything shes ever tried. While its true that shes traveled the world many times, The Sun-Maid Girl is a true California girl who exudes a natural healthfulness and has appeared in hundreds of magazines and television commercials. Lorraine is the absolute total package who cooks and promotes fitness making it a mission to help millions of people eat healthy and get in shape. Producers, directors, and promoters would do well to hire the versatile girl known by millions as a little ray of sunshine, as she can literally do anything!


    Special Edition HarperCollins Paddington features introduction by The Sun-Maid Girl. 2015

    The Simpsons Episode #400 features Marge baking her famous raisin sponge cake for the Springfield Elementary school bake sale. 2007

    Readers Digest named The Sun-Maid Girl the best lasting logo for its annual Americas Best issue. 2007

    Sun-Maid Monopoly Board Game is introduced. 2006

    Seinfeld Episode #63 features box of Sun-Maid Raisins that mysteriously disappears.1993

    Snacks on Parade episode runs on Sesame Street. 1987

    Sun-Maid Girl bonnet displayed at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. marking the 75th anniversary. 1988


    The Simpsons

    Readers Digest



    Sesame Street

    Smithsonian Institution

  • LORRAINE COLLETTAs Lorraine would later tell, It was only after we returned to Fresno that I was seen by Sun-Maid executive Leroy Payne wearing my mothers red bonnet in my backyard that the bonnet color was changed from blue to red, because red reflected the color of the sun better.

    AT THE EXPOSITIONThe Sun-Maid girls handed out raisin samples to visitors of the

    Panama Pacific International Exposition while wearing white blouses with blue piping and originally BLUE sunbonnets.

    THE ORIGINAL SUN-MAIDAfter the Exposition, Miss Collett did further modeling and appeared in the 1916 Cecil B. DeMille film Trail of the Lonesome Pine. Lorraine Collett Petersen, as she was known after marrying, later became a nurse and until her death at the age of 90, continued to make special appearances as the original Sun-Maid Girl.

    TOP STORYThis photograph of Lorraine (far right) appeared in the San Francisco Bulletin in 1915 and promoted Sun-Maids activities at the Exposition.

    THE FIRST PAINTINGWhile working at the Expo in San Francisco, Collett posed at the Post Street studio of artist Fanny Scafford in the morning, then spent the rest of the day working the Expo, where the Sun-Maid girls were by then all wearing RED bonnets. The artist experimented with a variety of positions and props, finally settling on the iconic pose with an overflowing tray of grapes and a glowing sunburst in the background.

    THE RED BONNETIn 1915, life was much simpler, more rural, and sunbonnets were still part of womens fashion in California. Lorraine kept her original red bonnet carefully folded in a dresser drawer from 1915 until she graciously presented it to Sun-Maid in a small ceremony in 1974.

    A NATIONAL TREASUREIn celebration of Sun-Maids 75th anniversary, the treasured original sunbonnet, by then faded pink, was donated to the Smithsonian Institutionin Washington, D.C. on January 26, 1988,in the presence of U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Dick Lyng.

    Many people want to know if a real person was the original Sun-Maid Girl.The answer is Yes, and her name was Lorraine Collett (Petersen). In May 1915, San Francisco was still recovering from its 1906 earthquake and celebrated its rebirth by welcoming the international community to the Panama Pacific International Exposition. Lorraine Collett attended this event with a number of other girls as representatives of the recently formed California Associated Raisin Company, later Sun-Maid Growers of California.

    Sun-Maid GirlTHE

  • RAISIN SEEDERSun-Maids raisin seeder in the horticultural palace was such a popular attraction that a second raisin

    seeder was added in the food products palace. As part of the live demonstration, Muscat raisins with seeds were placed into the machine, and instantly, seeded

    raisins came out to be enjoyed by Exposition visitors.

    SUN-MAID SAMPLESThe Exposition attracted visitors from around the world, many who were only just sampling raisins for the first time. In addition to enjoying raisins, visitors could view what was called a stereomotograph, a device displaying 3 x 3 three-dimensional scenes of raisin growing and production in the San Joaquin Valley.

    THE FIRST SUN-MAID GIRLSAt the start of the Exposition, Lorraine Collett had yet to pose for the now-famous watercolor that would become Sun-Maids logo. Throughout the Exposition, Collett (pictured second from right) served with other young women as raisin ambassadors, passing out samples of raisins to visitors.

    THE PALACE OF FINE ARTSThe Palace of Fine Arts is the only remaining building from the 1915 Exposition. With assistance from Sun-Maid, the 2010 Campaign for the Palace of Fine Arts worked to retrofit the building and preserve it for future generations. Today, Sun-Maids participation in the 1915 Exposition is featured in one of six new interpretative panels surrounding the Palace.

    IN THE NEWSThe Fresno Morning Republican reported on Exposition events and encouraged local residents to attend special celebrations including Fresno County Day in March, 1915. In turn, the Expositions Fresno County visitors participated in parades and giveaways of raisins and raisin bread to encourage Exposition visitors to attend Raisin Day festivities held in April, 1915 in Fresno.

    THE CALIFORNIA BUILDINGSun-Maid, then known as the California Associated Raisin Company, had its display in the California building within the Expositions horticultural palace. Other Exposition attractions included exhibits,

    performances, and parades from countries around the world, as well as American states, counties, and businesses.

    A CITY SHOWCASEDIt took three years to construct the 630-acre fairgrounds, which were built on more than 70 cleared city blocks and filled-in mud flats at the northern part of San Francisco, now known as the Marina. The buildings, which were made only to last for the year of the Exposition, were constructed of wood and covered with plaster and burlap fiber that could be molded and sculpted.

    In 1915, San Francisco hosted the Panama Pacific International Exposition, which celebrated the completion of the Panama Canal and the host citys recovery efforts following a devastating earthquake and fire in 1906. From February to December of 1915, visitors were treated to grand buildings and displays among statues, murals, fountains, lakes, and gardens, including a working model of the Panama Canal and a replica of the Greek Parthenon. Attractions showcased the greatest arts, transportation, machinery, and agriculture of the timeand Sun-Maid had its own exhibit. The exposition lasted nine months and Sun-Maids wide exposure there helped launch the brand to worldwide recognition.

    Panama PacificTHE


  • Inside the vault of a sprawling industrial structure here (in Kingsburg), stored like a treasure among the confidential corporate records, is a faded red bonnet.

    The youthful head that it once covered is snowy white now, the body is stooped and the gait is measured, as one should expect from a person 90 years of age.

    But the hazel eyes of Lorraine Collett Petersen still sparkle even as they did in May 1915, when the girl was discovered drying her black curls in the sunny backyard of her nearby Fresno home.


    Lorraine Collett PetersenLos Angeles Times writer Dave Larson was the last to interview Mrs. Petersen. It was not long before the 1982 grape harvest

    that Larsen published his story. It was among the best written an most widely read interview of the famous lady.


    She was asked to pose for a painting while holding a tray of grapes, a trademark that has since taken her likeness into homes of raisin eaters throughout the world. One of the most reproduced faces in history.

    That original watercolor, priceless, now hangs in the presidents conference room at the Sun-Maid Growers plant here, a gift eight years ago from the woman who madeit all possible.

    From time to time Petersen visits this, the largest raisin plant in the world, pops a few into her mouth and lets her mind drift back to how her unlikely fame came about.

    The year was 1915, Albert Einstein postulated his general theory of relativity, the US Coast Guard was established, Henry Ford developed a farm tractor, and the Panama-Pacific International Exposition was in progress in San Francisco.


    Two other girls and I were sent as representatives of the California Associated Raisin Company, Petersen recalled. We walked among the fairgoers with platters of Sun-Maid Raisins and passed out samples.

    Not only that, but every afternoon one of her chores was to ascend in a light plane and, as a promotion, drop a rainfall of raisins over the crowd.

    Otherwise, wearing blue bonnets and white blouses, withblue piping, the girls filled the routine ambassadorial rolesof a fair.

    She was given permission in 1915 to take a brief leave from the San Francisco Exposition in order to participate in her home towns Raisin Day Parade.

    It was a Sunday morning, and my mother had just finished washing and setting my hair, she said. My mother always counted as she made eight long black curls that hung down.

    Considering her current age, the former Lorraine Collett, has remarkable recall on some details. She remembered that while she was in the yard of her Fresno home, wearing her mothers red bonnet, a group of visitors stopped by a Sun-Maid executive Leroy Payne, plus an executive of the San Francisco exhibit and his wife.

    She wanted to know why I hadnt been wearing a red bonnet at their fair, and I replied that I wasnt drying my hair then. Mr. Payne was impressed by the effect of the sun on the red bonnet, and not only did we all wear that color for the remainder of the fair, but I was asked to pose for a trademark when I returned to San Francisco.

    In effect, she did it for nothing. The modeling assignment was part of her daily job at the Exposition for which she received $15 a week.


    My mother had rented an apartment in San Francisco. Every morning at 10:00, I had to show up at a womans art studio on Post Street. I would sit until about noon, when I had to leave for my work at the fair. This went on for a couple of weeks.

    First, the former Lorraine Collett recalled, a pose was tried without the red cotton bonnet. Then a profile was considered, and rejected. A basket with handles was tried, but discardedin favor of a wooden tray overflowing with rubberyartificial grapes.

    The full color painting, a sunburst glowing at the back of a smiling lass, was fairly completed. It was displayed in the horticulture building at the fair until the end of the year, when the model said, it was hung in Paynes office.

    At long last, the raisin had a symbol.

    The painting eventually wound up in my possession, Petersen said. I displayed it first in the convalescent home I ran, and later hung it in my living room.


    There it remained, along with the bonnet (folded in a dresser drawer), until eight years ago. At that time, Petersen presented both the artwork and the hat to the company for safekeeping.

    The president, F.R.Light, gave her a gift of $1,700, and everyone on hand for the ceremony enjoyed punch made from raisins, sugar syrup, lemon and ginger ale.

    As for the wooden tray with the artificial fruit still attached, Petersen said she plans to give that to the company too. The arm bracelet she wore for the painting disappeared while she was at the hotel.

    Down through the years, the Sun-Maid trademark has been modernized, but has always been based on the original pose.


    The innocent little modeling adventure led to all manner of fringe benefits. I rode a horse in a movie, Trail of the Lonesome Pine, Petersen said. I was asked to model clothes in stores. I appeared in booths at fairs. I received letters from around the world. Somebody even manufactured dolls that looked like me.

    Nowadays, she still gets around, often dining out, often resplendent in earrings, chokers and bright red nail polish. Except when trout fishing, which is another of her pursuits.

    Other than that, she is ever available for conversation about events, current and currant.

    During the interviewing years, Mrs. Petersen modeled, appeared in some movies, operated a cattle breeding ranch, became a nurse, operated a convalescent home, and appeared on television shows, like The Mike Douglas Show, as the original Sun-Maid Girl.

    It all began when Miss Collett, (second from right) was selected to representSun-Maid at the Panama-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco in February, 1915.

    That smiling lovely young lady in the

    red bonnet, who has graced billions of

    Sun-Maid packages around the world and

    appeared in thousands of advertisements, is

    among Americas best known trademarks.

  • SMR_Fitness_Sep2012_Final.indd 1 6/29/12 11:44 AM

  • THE SIMPSONSThe 400th episode of The Simpsons aired in 2007 and featured Marge baking her famous raisin sponge cake for the Springfield Elementary school bake sale. Finding her carton of Sun-Made raisins empty, she went to the grocery store where she fought with Helen Lovejoy over the last box of Sun-Made raisins on the shelf.

    AMERICAS BESTIn 2007, Readers Digest named The Sun-Maid Girl the Best Lasting Logo for its annual Americas Best issue.

    BLUES CLUESThe 2007 childrens book Healthy Snacks with Blue! featured Nickelodeons favorite dog, Blue, and her friend Joe preparing a healthy snack to share with Blues class. Blue and Joe use Sun-Maid Raisins as one of the ingredients in the fruit salad they make to celebrate Healthy Snacks Day.

    MONOPOLYSun-Maids library of artwork, advertising, and historical documents provided plenty of colorful material for the Sun-Maid Monopoly game, created in 2006.

    SEINFELDSun-Maid made its Seinfeld debut in 1993 in an episode named The Pilot where the red box of raisins mysterious disappeared.

    MAD RAISINSBy the fall of 1988, the California Dancing Raisins were at the height of their popularity and appeared on the cover of humor magazine Mad alongside the magazines mascot, Alfred E. Neuman.

    SESAME STREET In 1987, the award-winning childrens show Sesame Street aired an animated segment evoking the Sun-Maid brand by featuring a woman in a red bonnet. Titled Snacks on Parade, the cartoon explained Sun-Maids process of sun-drying raisins, packaging them in red and yellow boxes, and sending them out for the rest of the world to enjoy.

    Sun-Maid Raisins not only hold a place in history, but also a place in the hearts of children and adults across the globe. Sun-Maids status as the most well-known and highly regarded name in raisins makes the brand a natural choice to be featured in numerous forms of pop culture.

    Throughout the years, Sun-Maid products have appeared on early-morning and late-night talk shows, and even featured in a MasterCard Priceless commercial as one of the necessary items for building the best snowman on the block.

    Consumers around the world recognize the iconic red raisin box, featuring the bright California sun and The Sun-Maid Girl and red bonnet. Sun-Maid Raisins in the red and yellow box are seen everywhere, from childrens books and television programs to magazines and video games, all the while evoking the healthful, wholesome qualities embraced by the Sun-Maid brand.



  • Become a fan of the Sun-Maid Girl on Facebook at to comment on all things Sun-Maid, ask questions, share photos, and stay up-to-date on the latest Sun-Maid events.

    After 90 years on the little red box, The Sun-Maid Girl got a digital makeover in 2006 and as part of her coming out party was featured in newspapers across the country.

    Q: What would you say makes your company unique?

    A: Sun-Maid is the worlds largest processor of raisins and dried fruit, and when people see our brand, they might assume were a Fortune 500 company. In reality, Sun-Maid is an American cooperative of family farmers, which means that the 750 family farmers that grow our raisins also own the company. I love that our 100-year-old company is owned by the people who actually harvest the product and take it to market. In some cases, the grape vineyards have been farmed by the same families for generations.

    Q: If you werent so famously identified with raisins, what would you rather be doing? A: Most people dont know this, but I would love to be the lead singer in a rock band!

    Q: Tell our readers about Sun-Maid. What is your main line of business?

    A: Many people know Sun-Maid from the little red boxes of raisins. What they might not know is that Sun-Maid Growers of California was founded over 100 years ago in 1912. This century-long history as the worlds largest processor of raisins means that if you laid out end to end all the raisins Sun-Maid has sold during our 100 years, they would stretch from the Earth to beyond the Sun! Ive represented the brand since 1915, when I posed for the brands trademark wearing a red bonnet and holding a tray of grapes.

    Q: What information is important to know about raisins and dried fruits?

    A: Dried fruits serve as important healthful snacks worldwide, and are nutritionally equivalent to fresh fruits. Ive known this because Ive seen our growers harvest grapes and dry them in sun thats all that goes into our raisins: grapes and sunshine! Because of their nutritional value and enjoyable taste, raisins have been popular as a healthy food for a millennia. They are known as natures candy and counted among the most nutritious dried fruits globally.

    Q: What does the future hold for you and Sun-Maid?

    A: As the health benefits of our products continue to be researched and better understood, I plan to travel the world and help share this information and work to promote healthier eating habits around the world. Sun-Maid is the worlds largest processor of raisins and dried fruits and distributes products to more than50 countries worldwide, which means that Ive gota lot of places to visit!

    Q: Has the social media bug bit The Sun-Maid Girl?

    A: Funny you should say! I use my Facebookpage regularly to reach our customers and stayengaged in what interests them. In fact, if you go to youll find information about our latest promotions, microsites, recipes and nutrition. We also use Twitter @SunMaidRaisins to connect. For example, we recently encouraged people to upload a photo related to their workout or exercise routines using #RaisinYourWorkout and they received a free Sun-Maid Raisin workout shirt for participating. We have QR codes on all our packaging that link to our mobile sites. And, of course we have a lot of information on our website and international sites available through

    The Sun-Maid Girl,INTERVIEW WITH


    Become a fan of The Sun-Maid Girl on Facebook at to comment on all things Sun-Maid, ask questions, share photos, and stay up-to-date on the latest Sun-Maid events.