Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Something About Will Keith Kellogg

Boxed surprise.

It's the 161st birthday of Will Keith (W. K.) Kellogg (1860-1951), the American industrialist and founder of the Kellogg Company, whose later generations of employees gave us talking tigers and toucans.

Born in Battle Creek, Kellogg was a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, practiced vegetarianism, and later was bookkeeper for his brother, John Harvey, at the Battle Creek Sanitarium. 1906, W.K. founded the Battle Creek Toasted Corn Flake Company, known today as the Kellogg Company. His company was one of the first to put nutrition labels on foods, and he also offered the first inside-the-box prize for children. 

Ah, the days of  Captain Midnight secret-decoder rings, baking powder submarines, and pin-back button badges. One wonders how many of such prizes wound up on Rose Rita’s beanie.

I sometimes wonder which real person was more like Bellairs’s fictional cereal magnate, H. Bagwell Glomus: W. K. Kellogg, John Harvey Kellogg, or that guy who showed up at the sanitarium and borrowed some of their ideas, C. W. Post?

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