Gerber, Frank

Gerber, (Daniel) Frank

(1873–1952) baby food manufacturer; born in Douglas, Mich. After high school he joined the family tannery at age 16 and rose to partner and manager until the business closed in 1905. In 1901 he helped found the Fremont Canning Company to market local produce; he became president in 1917. The company started manufacturing baby foods at the behest of his son Daniel (Frank) Gerber (1898–1974) who, in 1927, was assistant general manager of the company and himself a new father. The Gerbers tested batches of baby food on Daniel's daughter Sally and other babies. By 1941 the baby food line was outselling adult food products and in 1943 the Gerber Products Company dropped its adult foods. Frank Gerber died in the midst of an expansion that saw the company opening plants in California, New York, and Ontario.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.