March 7 commemorates the day when Dr. John Kellogg served the first corn flakes breakfast to his patients 115 years ago. Learn more about the history of corn flakes after the jump.
John Harvey Kellogg was a doctor in charge of running Battle Creek Sanitarium. He used holistic methods, such as exercise and proper nutrition in curing his patients. Back in the late 1800’s, there were no antibiotics yet so patients relied on fresh air and plenty of rest to get better. In 1894, John Harvey and his brother Will Keith accidentally discovered flaked cereal. They were experimenting with wheat to come up with bread substitute for the patients. They unintentionally left a pot of boiled wheat and upon inspection, they saw that it had softened. When the wheat dried up, they ended up with large thin flakes.
The first Kellogg’s corn flakes meal was served on March 7, 1897. However, that first serving is not the same Kellogg’s corn flakes that we know today. The first serving was sugarless, thus having a bland taste and was geared towards the patients who needed a healthy diet. Will saw the potential in producing the corn flakes commercially and added sugar. This caused a rift between the two, and John sued Will. John lost, and Will continued to market Kellogg’s corn flakes commercially as a breakfast cereal.
Here are some Kellogg’s advertisements from the early 1900’s: