On April 14, 1896, John Harvey Kellogg was granted the patent for FLAKED CEREALS AND PROCESS OF PREPARING THE SAME, U.S. Patent No. 558,393.

Cereal is one of those inventions that was discovered by accident. John Kellogg and his brother William, were Seventh-day Adventist and adhered to a strict bland vegetarian diet. The brothers worked for a sanitarium John, the superintendent, and William the business manager. The two were trying to come up with a healthy snack for the patients and attempted to make a form of bread that was easily digestible. The brothers rolled out some dough, accidentally forgot about it, and it hardened. With a limited food budget, they tried to make the dough work and ran it through rollers. Fortunately, that accident led to the first flaked cereal, known today as Corn Flakes.

John went on to patent the process for making such cereal. The application states the invention “relates to an improved alimentary product and to the process of making it; and the object of the Improvement is to provide a food product which is in a proper condition to be readily digested without any preliminary cooking or heating operation, and which is highly nutritive and of an agreeable taste.”

The cereal was a hit with the patients at the sanitarium, those that left even requested it. The cereal’s popularity grew and the brothers began to package it, sell it, and ship it. In 1906 William opened the Battle Creek Toasted Corn Flake Company and with his brothers help they worked on getting their cereal out to the masses. Unfortunately, the brothers parted ways when William wanted to add sugar to the cereal to make it more palatable for a larger audience. John, adhering to the strict diet and beliefs that sugar and other substances would increase bad behavior couldn’t support the addition of sugar and left.

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