Little Bits of History

Ready to Eat

Posted in History by patriciahysell on May 31, 2010

John Harvey Kellogg

May 31, 1884: John Harvey Kellogg patents flaked cereal. Kellogg was a doctor running a sanitarium in Battle Creek, Michigan. The sanitarium was based on Seventh-day Adventist Church principals – vegetarianism and rigorous exercise. Kellogg’s focus was in line with the church teaching but he also included enemas in his prescribed regimen for good health.

Kellogg did not think highly of surgical intervention, however he still performed over 22,000 operations in his 67 year medical career. He was also highly incensed by masturbation and campaigned zealously, if not rabidly, for its discontinuation. He warned that masturbation caused acne and recommended the “treatment” of carbolic acid on the clitoris in order to stop females from participating in the unsavory practice. Carbolic acid is very dangerous when applied to skin.

The diet of Sanitarium clients did not contain any alcohol or caffeine and tobacco was forbidden. Kellogg thought that bland foods were best because they would not incite passion and sexual abstinence was encouraged. It was thought that cornflakes would actually decrease the libido.

While looking for a digestible bread substitute, a pot of wheat was boiled and then forgotten. After sitting for a time, it was found that the softened substance could be rolled and that each grain made a large, thin flake. When baked, the flakes were crisp and light. A bowl of the flakes with milk would make an easy breakfast.

Kellogg and his brother, Will Keith, went into partnership and the two started Battle Creek Toasted Corn Flake Company. John Harvey Kellogg wrote almost fifty books and many treatises on healthy life styles. He is best known, however, for his corn flakes.

“Mosquitoes remind us that we are not as high up on the food chain as we think.” – unknown

“The only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook.” – Julia Child

“Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.” – Mark Twain

“Americans have more food to eat than any other people and more diets to keep them from eating it.” – unknown

Also on this day,
In 1889, the
Johnstown Flood strikes in Pennsylvania, killing thousands.
In 1669,
Samuel Pepys made his last diary entry.

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