Miss Idaho Potato 1935
Public Domain

Today, weird internet fads are commonplace. Are they more weird, however, simply because they are on the internet? I’d wager to say that people have been doing weird things since way before we had the internet. We just didn’t have the technology to capture and share it all at once. Here’s a particularly curious event to people that people on the internet. This particular weird thing dates all the back to the depression era 1935, to be specific. This gem of an oddity was found via the Facebook of the Idaho Potato Museum.

Before technology advanced our lives and beauty pageants became the largely televised fancy-dress-and-one-talent parade we now recognize, the Miss America, for example, there were more *creative* beauty pageants. Along with these strange pageants, went the prizes of strange beauty queen titles.

This photo is allegedly from one of those.

Public Domain

This picture is one of many (and many similar) and usually people don’t question the validity of these. However, this one, in its revolution around the world wide interweb is raising a lot of questions.

Here’s where it gets weird. The photo is always captioned: “Miss Idaho potato photoshoot 1935”. It is often assumed that she was auditioning for Miss Idaho, later to go on to Miss America. According to the Miss Idaho website, and a Wikipedia page which condenses the state’s involvement states this: during the years 1934-1938, no representatives from Idaho were sent to the Miss America Pageant. The information cataloging Idaho contestants only dates back to the fifties.

There seems to be a shortage of information concerning the photo’s context. Essentially there’s real no evidence linking this image to the Miss Idaho competition. The closest information that could be found is this theory. In the late forties and early fifties, PR agencies for models and talent in beauty contests were using images of the woman with various fruit, vegetables or meat/protein products. Hence photos such as the aforementioned. And this one:

This wasn’t the weirdest outcome of the 20th century American beauty pageants. To name a few there were Miss Prettiest Ankles, Miss NASA, Miss American Vampire, Miss Space Queen, Miss Lovely Eyes, Miss Blueberry Queen, Miss Correct Posture, Sausage Queen, Miss Atomic Bomb, Miss Donut Queen, National Catfish Queen, Orange Queen.


The bizarre list goes on and on. What a time!

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Moriah Gill About the author:
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