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Inventor Spotlight: Corn Flakes Inventor John Kellogg

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For National Inventors Month this May, we’re celebrating innovation and highlighting some of the country’s finest innovators by telling you more about some who have been inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

John Harvey Kellogg – Flaked Cereal and Process of Preparing Same

Corn Flakes with blueberries by TheBusyBrain on Flickr

Corn Flakes with blueberries by TheBusyBrain on Flickr

It’s hard to imagine a time when pouring cereal in a bowl and adding milk wasn’t a breakfast option, but before Michigan native and Battle Creek Sanitarium superintendent John H. Kellogg invented Corn Flakes, that was indeed the case.

According to the National Inventors Hall of Fame, Corn Flakes was the “first dry, flaked breakfast cereal” and “transformed the typical American breakfast.”

Like many of the best inventions, Corn Flakes came about accidentally. While working on a new type of wheat meal that would be served at the sanitarium, Kellogg and his brother Will left some dough out overnight, which when rolled out and baked, resulted in thin flakes instead of loaves. The brothers served it to patients, who gave it the thumbs up, and that year more than 100,000 pounds of Corn Flakes were sold.

John Kellogg continued working at the sanitarium and experimenting on new foods, including granola and peanut butter, while his brother went the corporate route, founding the Kellogg Toasted Flake Company, which we now know as Kellogg Company, the father of all breakfast cereal companies.

Kellogg was inducted into the Hall of Fame posthumously in 2006; he died in 1943.

We salute you, John H. Kellogg. Spoons up!

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