According To My Mother, I was Little Miss Sunbeam


Me Bonnie Gay Jennings 1958 




This picture was taken in the 1950’s. And,according to my late mother I was Little Miss Sunbeam. However, the research said not so, it was another young girl in the 1950’s.


“Answer (says this)

The first Sunbeam bread girl was Patty Michaels. She was chosen in the 1950s and portrayed Little Miss Sunbeam for a few years before leaving. The company began holding contests with winners representing different regions of the US.”
I compared the 2 pictures of Patty Michaels and myself when we were both about 4 years of age.
 Patty Michaels


The bottom line…. All this is trivial and doesn’t amount to ‘a hill of beans,’ but is probably only interesting to me.

Anyway ~ May the Sun beam warm rays on your buttered 12 grain bread today.


Many on this post also claim to be or know the real Little Miss Sunbeam. Oh who truly knows, but we do know cell phones didn’t occupy our psyches. People did.

53 thoughts on “According To My Mother, I was Little Miss Sunbeam

  1. I’ve heard for YEARS that the little girl’s name in the painting has the name Shelia. My late Uncle was married to her until her unfortunate death. Togther, they had 3. Children -Jeff, Laura and Jaime.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Karen! Thank you for commenting and connecting with me and us!

      If you read the posts you will see the messages from many who claim ownership to The Little Miss Sunbeam title.

      What I think happened was the company had many contests and numerous winners who represented their area for a while. I’m not sure though but it’s what I’ve assumed.

      Little Miss Sunbeam would be around 65 years old. Born between 1950 (that’s really early but possible for a young looking girl) and 1953.

      Anyway, I hope this helps you.

      Have a great day and thanks for stopping by and commenting.


    2. Do you who’ve read this post by me find it interesting that so many have taken claim of the original Sunbeam Girl? I’m one of their little girls but until people commented on this stream, I never knew they (The Sunbeam Company) had so many wonderful little girls.

      Yes, I’m glad that I didn’t take down this specific blog post as it’s become fascinating.


  2. I’m sorry but, the little girl on that bread is a lady that I’m taking care of at a nursing home an yes I was surprised an still till this day I will never forget her as long as I look at the bread an yes she is alive an she only received $50 she said an hated when her mother put her hair like that pinned up

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lisa, first thank you for responding to my link. I never realized how much of an impact that it would make on WordPress.

      If you have read the posts and comments on my blog, you would have seen and heard others who also claim the title of being The real Little Miss Sunbeam.

      I grew up believing the same thing. Little Miss Sunbeam would be about 65 years old give or take a few years.

      Once again, thank you for your wonderful contribution to this post.

      Honestly, I almost deleted it many years ago, but it draws the most attention.


    1. I wholeheartedly agree; LOTS of interest from us ‘baby boomers’ who enjoy this stuff! I’m so glad I googled ‘the sunbeam bread girl’ and got to see all of this! =)

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I’m confused, did they have any other contest in the 60’s? My grandfather was the S.E. regions vice president for Sunbeam from the 40’s til he retired in the late 80’s. After the original 1940’s drawing of little Miss Sunbeam, I know they held contests in 4 region’s over the U.S.
    But did the do it again in the 60’s?
    I have a newspaper clipping of my mom as a Miss Sunbeam but she wasn’t born til 1960, so the newspaper clipping would’ve been 1965-1966.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not sure of when and where Sunbeam did the contest. All I know is about me and I was 3 or 4 years of age and it was late 1960’s for me as I was born in 1952. So I don’t know if this will help you understand. Also I was in Oklahoma during the contests. ⭐️


  4. I’d love to see pictures of the Li’l Miss Sunbeam contestants/winners from the 1950’s. I was a 2nd place winner in East Aurora, NY during the early ’50’s but have never seen any pictures.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. In about 1958 or so my mom took us to an event in the park in Paxton, IL where there was an opportunity to meet Little Miss Sunbeam. I’m now 61 years old and I still remember that event. There was also a clown who ran over to us and Sat on my mom’s lap which made me cry. I’m guessing that the Little Miss Sunbeam was one of the regional contest winners.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Tess for sharing your story. That was in Illinois, and my event was in Oklahoma around 1955 0r 56. That would have made me about 4 years old. I’m almost 65 now. This contest must have been a huge event all over our country. We can read the thread on my blog, which by the way, I almost took it down, as it seemed so unimportant. But, it seems many of us, experienced the excitement of being a little girl then and participating in this event. Thank you for sharing as it just confirms, it was also in Illinois…


    1. Yes, this was a contest that was ramped in the 1950’s… Wholesome Bread Company put it on and from the post that others have written assume the company held many contests and had several little girls in regions that held the title of Little Miss Sunbeam…. I vaguely remember as it was when I was about 5 and living in Tulsa Oklahoma… That was 60 years ago… Wow


    1. Kathleen, first thank you for commenting, there are many on this thread that say the same as you did. I believe The Sunbeam Bread Company had many Little Miss Sunbeams 🌹


  6. There was a contest held in the Bay Area around 1954 which I won. As the winner, I remember having my hair done at Elizabeth Arden’s in San Francisco (to a child the beauty salon smelled), the photo shoot and being on TV. There was a cash prize plus a watch which went to my older sister. Does anyone know who to contact for archive information?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely! It amazes me how serious we were in the 1950s about beauty contests… Mother’s had high hopes for their daughters to be contest winners.. But, all daughters are already winners.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Melinda, I’m glad you liked it and I do think you’re right because this was a way we lived then and is a form of history. Beauty pageants were common in that era as was the Bubble bleached blonde hairdo.

      Thank you for visiting

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I have my mom’s Little Miss Sunbeam photo and she remembers being in the final two and being disqualified because her uncle worked at the factory….I am wondering if this was a regional contest? I will have to ask her.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Let me try answering you again Allison something went wrong with my post. In answer to your question about The Little Miss Sunbeam contests, yes, the pageant swept the country during that time. Many kinds of beauty contests took place and it was a hobby like, ballroom dancing see Author Murray Dance Studios.

      There were, as I understand from the previous comments, (we’re all learning) there were many little girls used to represent Sunbeam Bread.

      I hope this answer finds you again..


      Liked by 2 people

    2. I have the photograph from the Photographer and the newspaper article, confirming that I won first prize in the Little Miss Sunbeam contest here in Green Bay, Wisconsin. First prize consisted of a check for $1,500.00 . I’m sure this was regional, but I do know that here in Green Bay, I was on stage with five other little girls, and went home with first prize. I guess it was a big deal at the time tho. We have the article and all the professional photos framed.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, please post your picture and share with the rest of us…I would love to see it… That would be great. I was four or five and barely remember the contest. i di remember they gave us small loaves of bread with butter and it was tasty…


  8. This little blog catches a lot of traffic. I don’t understand why. But, I am happy about the people who read this; however, I wonder what draws them to this article that I almost deleted. I truly thought it is silly. Like really, who cares, and is it important? It’s just trivia that is absolutely worthless. It is odd though, how many people, I assume women, who were in “Little Miss Sunbeam” pageants in the 1950’s. I guess it was a big deal then… I do slightly remember having to get dressed up, with lipstick and walk across a platform… Oh, the things we remember…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The real Sunbeam girl’s name was Marie Burns from Central, Alabama which is located near Florence, Alabama. She was killed by a drunk driver Junior May a regular drinker. Also Marie was a loving mother.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. My mother stated I was in the Miss Sunbeam contest. I have a photo of myself, and she stated that ot is the one used. Is there a way to verify this?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m not sure… If you google the name of the original Little Miss Sunbeam you will find the history of another little girl… Maybe all of our mothers’ wanted us to be this little girl… Sorry, if this doesn’t help too much.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Hi, A friend and I were talking about the Little Miss Sunbeam Contests. She and I were both in one and were wondering if there were searchable archives somewhere. I’d appreciate any information you can share.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Hope. Your comment is quite interesting. Do you remember where you were inn the contests? I believe we lived in Oklahoma, but I’m not sure. I just google “Little Miss Sunbeam” to find out what I could. There were several young girls who were labelled this title… And, that’s about all I know as my mother is deceased…

      Liked by 2 people

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