The College of Physicians of Philadelphia Digital Library

The Flakes We Know and Love

Will Keith enjoyed spending time in the kitchen experimenting with recipes. He created the toasted cornflake, which quickly became a staple in breakfasts at the Sanitarium. However, the Kellogg brothers' relationship was strained when Will Keith wished to sell the cornflakes as a breakfast cereal lightly coated in sugar. John Harvey believed that excess sugar causes sin and that the recipe should stay within the Sanitarium. After purchasing the rights to market the flakes, Will Keith parted ways with John Harvey, and began selling them under the name Battle Creek Toasted Corn Flake Company which, after a contentious lawsuit over the family name, became the Kellogg Company in 1911.

Clicking the image to the left will allow you to view a promotional pamphlet for Toasted Wheat Flakes, a contemporary product to the original Toasted Corn Flakes. This pamphlet is part of the Medical Trade Ephemera collection at the Historical Medical Library of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia. The attractive pamphlet was produced by the Battle Creek Sanitarium Food Co. at the turn of the 20th Century, and claimed many health and taste benefits from consuming the flakes. Customers could order products from the Sanitarium Food Co. directly using order forms such as the one below.

A small pamphlet advertising "Toasted Wheat Flakes," a product of The Battle Creek Sanitarium Food Co., a product related to Corn Flakes which helped popularize the Kellogg's brand.