Dorothy Kathleen Cronin – the beautiful daughter of Mrs. Cronin – of 122 Union Street Erskineville was featured in newspapers around Australia for several years as ‘One of Arnott’s Living Pictures’ – appearing for the first time in print towards the end of 1910. Advertisements featuring young Dorothy appeared regularly throughout 1911 and 1912, and continued, on and off until around the middle of 1917.
The Arnott’s celebrates 150 years website describes the ‘Living Pictures’ advertising campaign as running from 1892 until the 1950s and as having involved tens of thousands of proud mothers sending in testimonials with portraits and photographs of their well–fed babies. The lucky few would have portraits of their children featured in print.
Almost every advertisement featuring Dorothy Cronin featues a commentary: ‘For the Sake of the Bairns’ (‘For the sake of the children’ – ‘Bairn’ is Scots, Scottish English, and Northern English for a child):
For the Sake of the Bairns.
In order to ensure absolute purity in the milk used in the manufacture of Arnott’s Milk Arrowroot Biscuits, it is obtained twice daily from Mr. Arnott’s Model Dairy Farm of 5,000 Acres, on the Hunter River, N.S.W., where there are upwards of 700 Choice Cattle.
The use of the term ‘For the Sake of the Bairns’ is almost exclusively used in advertising featuring Dorothy Cronin – its only other known appearance being in 1912, featuring Colin Edgar Elphick (son of Henry J and Annie Elphick) of Wongarbon (near Dubbo).
William Arnott Limited of Newcastle NSW were seemingly very proud of their herd, with editorial-like articles featuring on a regular basis in 1910 informing readers of the secret of Messrs. Arnott’s success:
A check of the NSW registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages shows Dorothy Kathleen Cronin was the daughter of Michael and Elizabeth Cronin, her birth registered in the district of Newtown in 1906. At the time the image of Dorothy was made she would have been about three or four years of age.
A check of Sands Directory entries for Erskineville shows the Cronin family resided at 122 Union Street for many years, with Michael Cronin listed in the 1904 to 1918 directories. Further evidence suggests the Cronin family remained in Union Street for many more years thereafter.