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Kellogg's Trivia: Didja know that . . .?

. . . Kellogg's offered the first cereal premium in 1909, the Funny Jungleland Moving Pictures Booklet, available with the purchase of 2 boxes of Kellogg's Corn Flakes.


. . .
in 1932, Snap!, a small gnome wearing a bakers cap and carrying a spoon, was the first gnome to be featured on Kellogg's Rice Krispies


. . . the Kellogg Brothers were the first to invent Peanut Butter . . . but they failed to patent it!!


. . . Wal-Mart and its subsidiaries account for about 14% of the company's sales.


. . . the phrase "Snap! Crackle! Pop!", without characters, first appeared on the box in 1932


. . . although he invented Granola and Corn Flakes, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg breakfasted daily on seven graham crackers!


Click to Play The Railroad Hour #161, 'Holiday Inn', from Oct 29, 1951
Click the 'Listen' icon to download or play:
The Railroad Hour #161, 'Holiday Inn', from Oct 29, 1951

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Kelloggs' Coffee Business: From Germaniy to Gund to Kaffee Hag to Kellogg's to Sanka.


Kelloggs Kaffee Hag Coffee circa 1927
Kelloggs Kaffee Hag Coffee circa 1927


Kelloggs Kaffee Hag Coffee circa 1928
Kelloggs Kaffee Hag Coffee circa 1928


Kelloggs Kaffee Hag Coffee circa 1927
Kelloggs Kaffee Hag Coffee circa 1927


Self-Starter Breakfast circa 1931
Self-Starter Breakfast circa 1931


Moo-oo-oo Goes the Cow circa 1932
Moo-oo-oo Goes the Cow circa 1932


Gro-Pup Complete Dog Food circa 1934
Gro-Pup Complete Dog Food circa 1934


Feeling Sluggish? circa 1933
Feeling Sluggish? circa 1933




Original Kellogg's header montage art

Kellogg's History: From Battle Creek Sanitarium to Sanitas Nut Food Company to the Battle Creek Toasted Corn Flake Co.


Battle Creek Sanitarium (the former Western Health Reform Institute of the Church of The Seventh Day Adventists) circa 1880
Battle Creek Sanitarium (the former Western Health Reform Institute of the Church of The Seventh Day Adventists) circa 1880

The Kellogg story is a fascinating confluence of religion, colon health, and good old American Entrepreneurialism. It all began in 1854 when the Adventist Church was established in Battle Creek, Michigan. By 1860, the Church changed it's name to Seventh-day Adventist (SDA): “Seventh Day,” being their Sabbath day--Saturday, the seventh day of their week. “Adventist,” because they were remnants of the Millerite movement that erroneously predicted the advent of the Second Coming of Christ in 1844 (oops!). The Seventh Day Adventists believe in the sanctity of body and soul, and advocate temperance in all things, and preventive medicine, especially, as a way of life. In support of this belief, the Adventists opened their first health retreat in 1866 in Battle Creek--"The Western Health Reform Institute".

Dr. John Harvey Kellogg (1852-1943) took charge of the Institute for the Seventh-day Adventist Church in 1876, changing the name to The Battle Creek Sanitarium. He coined the word “sanitarium” to better reflect his idea of a sanitary retreat for both health restoration and training in contrast with “sanitorium,” which customarily referred to a hospital for invalids or for treatment of tuberculosis and other infectious diseases of the era.

Dr. John Harvey Kellogg (1852-1943) and younger brother Will Keith Kellogg (1860-1951)
Dr. John Harvey Kellogg (1852-1943) and younger brother Will Keith Kellogg (1860-1951)

Both Dr. Kellogg and his younger brother Will Keith Kellogg, his bookkeeper and business manager (from 1880, on), were men of very short physical stature; Dr. Kellogg 5 feet four inches, and his younger brother the taller at 5 foot seven inches. But as history would bear out, they were both destined to become men of great stature as inventors, entrepreneurs, and humanitarians.

The Kelloggs' Discover A New and Important Alternative to High Grain Health Supplements in a Far More Palatable, Pleasing Form

The Story of The Food That Won

Among his various duties, W.K. Kellogg assisted his brother in food experiments. Dr. J. H. Kellogg, was the extrovert of the two, and somewhat more eccentirc as well, later in life adopting a wardrobe of completely white outfits (shoes, socks, suit, shirt, tie, hat, coat, galoshes), further accentuating his white hair, mustache and goatee. By contrast, W. K. Kellogg heavier, bald, unsmiling and introverted. W.K. inconspicuously served his older brother for 26 years at the Sanitarium.

The Sanitarium Lab circa 1906
The Sanitarium Lab circa 1906


The 'shy' brother, W. K. Kellogg, is believed to have developed the first edible corn flake product, working after hours as business manager, in the food laboratory at the Sanitarium, though both Kellogg brothers were probably involved in the discovery. The most significant food products developed by the Kellogg brothers were the flaked cereals: Sanitas, the first corn flake (1895), and Granose, the first wheat flake (1898).

W.K. Kellogg sought an alternative to the nutritious, but tasteless, breads on the sanatarium's menu. He experimented with running boiled wheat through rollers in search of an alternative. The 'flake' discovery was somewhat serendipitous. Called away from their experiments, the were forced to leave the cooked wheat exposed to the air for a day. Upon returning, the brothers decided to run the wheat through the rollers anyway, despite the fact that it was no longer fresh. But this time, instead of the single, large sheet of wheat that they had been producing, the rollers produced a flake for each wheat berry. When baked, they produced a light and crisp flake. This flake, much like the breakfast cereals we know today, was first formed in 1894.

This new cereal, Granose, proved so popular with the patients at the sanatarium that many continued to request a supply, even after their time to return home approached. Inspired by the demand, the brothers started the Sanitas Food Company in 1898 to develop Corn Flakes cereal. W.K Kellogg, the general manager of the company, discovered that adding malt flavouring and using the grit or heart of the corn made the flakes even tastier! In 1906, W.K. Kellogg formed the Battle Creek Toasted Corn Flakes Company, which was officially named the Kellogg Company in 1922, heralding the beginning of the ready-to-eat cereal industry.
Demand for the New Cerals Drive W.K. Kellogg to Increase both Production and Distribution of their Popular New Breakfast Staples

Will Keith Kellogg (1860 - 1951)

1907 The original plant burns to the ground. The present day Battle Creek plant is built.

1910 W. K. Kellogg buys a full-page ad in Ladies' Home Journal. “The Funny Jungleland Moving Pictures Book” becomes the first of thousands of premiums offered to consumers who purchase Kellogg's® products.

1914 W. K. Kellogg begins worldwide expansion of the cereal business with introduction of Kellogg's Corn Flakes® in Canada.

1916 Kellogg's® introduces All-Bran®

1922 Battle Creek Toasted Corn Flakes Company renamed Kellogg Company. Sales begin in the United Kingdom.

1923 Kellogg Company hired Mary Barber, a registered Dietitian, to establish one of the industry's first professional home economics departments to develop recipes using Kellogg's® cereals.

1924 Kellogg plant is built in Sydney, Australia.

1928 Rice Krispies® appears on the market

1930 Kellogg became the first company to print nutrition messages, recipes and product information on its packages.

1931 Kellogg Company sponsors the nation's first radio network program for children, “The Singing Lady.”

1933 Snap! Crackle! Pop!® first appears on the side of the Rice Krispies® box

1938 Kellogg plant is built in Manchester, England.

1942 Raisin Bran is first available in stores

1951 Kellogg plant is built in Querétaro, Mexico. Founder, W. K. Kellogg, dies at age 91.

1952 Kellogg's introduces Sugar Smacks® and Frosted Flakes®.

1953 Cornelius®, the rooster, made his debut on boxes of Kellogg's Corn Flakes®.

1958 Tony the Tiger® won a contest over Katy the Kangaroo to become the sole spokescharacter for Kellogg's Frosted Flakes®. Cocoa Krispies® appeared on store shelves.

1963 Kellogg operations begin in Takasaki, Japan. Froot Loops® were introduced along with its character, Toucan Sam®.

1964 Kellogg's® introduces Pop-Tarts® toaster pastries.


Kellogg's Uses Radio as the Perfect Promotional Vehicle to Expand Kellogg's Products Worldwide

Kellogg's developed an impressive stable of popular Radio Show sponsorships and both showing their understanding of their target audience as well as developing a continuing demand for their products:

Kellogg's Radio Sponsorships from 1927 to 1955



Kellogg's Kaffee Hag spot ad for Sumber Music circa 1937

Slumber Hour was billed as providing 'the sweetest music' of the era, presumably to underscore Kellogg's Kaffee HAG Coffee's abscence of caffeine. One has to wonder how many of it's listeners fell asleep during the show, before all the commercial spots had aired. That may explain it's relatively short run. Indeed, soon after the demise of the program, Kelllogg's Kaffee HAG Coffee was sold to General Foods in 1928, later to become the Sanka decaffeinated coffee we know today.

Irene Wicker, Kellogg's 'The Singing Lady' circa 1933
Irene Wicker (Ireene Wicker), Kellogg's 'The Singing Lady' circa 1933

The Singing Lady, or "Kellogg's Singing Lady" was billed as the first radio network program directed at children. Ireene Wicker was "The Singing Lady". The Singing Lady's songbook was made available to her listening audience as a promotion from Kellogg's. Indeed, in 1932, Kellogg's ran a promotion by which mom's could acquire The Singing Lady's songbooks by redeeming Kellogg's boxtops. The promotion was both a runaway success for Kellogg's and an eye-opener for the radio advertising agencies of the era. Irene Wicker not only sang songs to her audience, but actually did more story telling than singing. The Story Lady parody shorts of later years were based on Irene Wicker's delivery and program. Ireene Wicker herself, is credited with 'discovering' Mel Torme, at the 1934 Chicago's World Fair, where she was judging the chldren's section of the singing contest. Torme was only 10 yrs old when he was judged the winner. In 1935, Kellogg published When the Great Were Small, a book developed to inspire children to pursue the great skills and talent of the artists and musicians who precded them. In 1960, for her devoted work in children's media, Irene Wicker was later awarded a Peabody Award, in honor of her outstanding achievement in radio and television.

One of Kellogg's more prestigious programs of the era was The Circle, which aired during the 1938-1939 Radio Season.

One of Kellogg's more prestigious programs of the era was The Circle, which aired during the 1938-1939 Radio Season. The caption reads: "Stars of NBC’s Kellogg Radio Show look pretty for the camera--starting left, Groucho Marx, Cary Grant, Lawrence Tibbett, Carole Lombard, Chico Marx and Ronald Colman."

Howie Wing insignia
Click to Play Howie Wing, 'Trying to find Randolph Field'

Throughout 1939 Kellogg's sponsored the Howie Wing Program. Howie Wing is a fascinating and relatively recent re-discovery in the World of Golden Age Radio. The airplane had great impact on our popular culture after the dogfights of WW-I. The Howie Wing Radio Program, created by Wilfred G. Moore, aired from 1938 to 1939. Howie Wing was a 21-year-old "junior pilot" whose adventures were typical for juvenile air fiction of the era. Wing was mentored by Captain Harvey, a WW-I Ace. Howie's girlfriend is Donna Cavendish and his fellow pilot was "Zero" Smith, one of the best "tough weather pilots" but cranky, devious, generally irascible, and sometimes suspected of working for the Germans. The true villain of the show is Burton York, posing as an insurance agent to discredit Captain Harvey, Howie Wing's mentor and father figure. Airlines had bridged both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans by then and the public interest in aviation had piqued. Kellogg's sponsored the First Air Express Round-the-World shipment to generate interest in the Howie Wing program. They prepared two suitcases; one to be sent Round-the-World by air in an easterly direction and the other westerly. The race was to see which suitcase would win its Round-the-World trip. The suitcases travelled on:

  • Eastern Airlines
  • American Airlines
  • Pan American Airway
  • Air France
  • KLM Airlines
  • Imperial Airways
  • United Airlines
  • Transcontinental
  • Western Airlines
  • Chicago & Southern Airlines

The suitcases departed Battle Creek, Michigan on February 22, 1939, the Westerly suitcase arriving first back in Battle Creek 25 days later and the Easterly suitcase 29 days later each suitcase having made approximately 75 different stops while traveling 31,188 miles around the World.

Tom Breneman's Breakfast In Hollywood postcard
Click to Play Breakfast in Hollywood

The "Breakfast Programs" were a natural for Kellogg's. From Breakfast At Sardi's, to The Breakfast Club, to Breakfast In Hollywood, the Breakfast shows were the perfect vehicle to underscore Kellogg's history-long campaign to convert the World to the idea of starting every day with a meal of one of Kellogg's Breakfast Cereals. Breakfast at Sardi's was actually the precurson to Breakfast in Hollywood., Tom Brenneman hosting both shows, the second from his own restaurant, Brenneman's. Both C.W. Post and General Foods had joined as many as 40 other competitors to much of Kellogg's product line, from their Grain Breakfast Cereals, to their grain based Dog meal to their non-caffeintated hot beverages, their competitors were nippping at Kellogg's heels and both copycatting or outright stealing Kellogg's yearly product and marketing innovations. Breakfast in Hollywood was so successful that it was spun off into a full length movie of the same name in 1946.

Superman Insignia
Click to Play Superman, 'The Mystery of the Stolen Costume'

The Adventures of Superman and Kellogg's sponsonship of the program once it moved to The Mutual Network, proved to be one of the better natural pairings of product to protagonist in the history of early radio advertising. Of the over 1300 episodes of The Adventures of Superman, well over half were produced under Kellogg's sponsorship. Indeed, so mutually beneficial was the relationshiop between Superman and Kellogg's, that when Superman moved from Radio to Television, it was a natural for Kellogg's to sponsor the TV version of the program. This was yet another long running program for Kellogg's, while further expanding it's juvenile demographic target to include a strong range of the fast growing adult viewer demographic.

Mark Trail Illustration
Click to Play Mark Trail, 'Witch of Lost Forest'

Mark Trail was another natural juvenile adventure program well suited to Kellogg's Pep's target demographic during the Breakfast Cereals advertising wars of the 40s and 50s. Mark Trail had a highly successful New York Post syndicated, then King Syndicated comic strip penned by Ed Dodd in 1946,.and later drawn by Jack Elrod from 1978 forward. Beginning with January 30, 1950, the Mutual Broadcasting System launched the Mark Trail Radio Program, featuring Matt Crowley as Mark Trail. Airing three time weekly, 174 thirty-minute episodes were produced, running through June 8, 1951. A second radio series, starring Staats Cotsworth, of Casey, Crime Photographer fame, aired by ABC beginning September 18, 1950, with 51 half-hour shows that ran three times weekly until January 1952. The series then switched to a 15-minute format, producing another 125 episodes that aired weekdays through June 27, 1952. Of the approximately 350 episodes originally commited to transcription, only 10 of the 15-minute episodes are known to have survived. Trail's adopted son, Rusty is the son of an alcoholic and abusive father. Mark Trail's intervention saved Rusty's life. Trail is accompanied by "Andy", his faithful Saint Bernard. Cherry Davis is Trail's longtime girlfriend. Cherry lived with Mark and her father (Doc) at Lost Forest. Doc Davis, a Veterinarian is Cherry's dad.

Tom Corbett Space Goggles Promo
Click to Play Tom Corbett - Space Cadett, 'Rescue in Space'

Tom Corbett, Space Cadet was a relatively short lived sponsorship for Kellogg's--on Radio, especially. It ran for five years on Television and only six months on radio from January 1952 through July 1952. A juvenile space adventure, it began on TV, then a year later on radio, three days a week for ABC. The program was loosely based on the famous Robert Heinlein science fiction novel, "Space Cadet" of 1946. Legendary voice talent Jackson Beck was the announcer. Direction was by Drex Hines, with scripts from Richard Jessup, Jack Weinstock and Willie Gilbert, Don Hughes, and Gilbert Brann. Frankie Thomas was Tom Corbett, Al Markim was Astro and Ed Bryce was Captain Strong. Together they fought and vanquished criminals, space pirates, renegade Solar Guard officers, treacherous colonists and all manner of space disaster. Jan Merlin reprised his TV role as the ill-tempered Roger Manning, who tended to get into one serious scrape or another in almost every episode.

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Use Player above to Play "Breakfast Pals" from 1939


''3 Rings. That's your freind from Battle Creek.'' December 1922
''3 Rings. That's your freind from Battle Creek.'' December 1922



Kellogg's Corn Flakes Ad circa 1906
Kellogg's Corn Flakes Ad circa 1906


''Made In Canada'' Corn Flakes Ad circa 1914
''Made In Canada'' Corn Flakes Ad circa 1914



'Mal-Nutrition' circa1914
'Mal-Nutrition' circa1914


1936 Kellogg's spot ad for Hollywood Talent Parade and Kellogg's Singing Lady
1936 Kellogg's spot ad for Hollywood Talent Parade and Kellogg's Singing Lady

Kellogg's Pep circa 1938
Kellogg's Pep circa 1938



The First in a Series of Pep Ads Commissioning N.C. Wyeth for the Artwork, circa 1926
(click to enlarge)




Not sure if this reads the same in 2009 as it did in 1937. Krumbles were widely respectied as excellent source of roughage for promotion of lower colon health, though.
Not sure if this reads the same in 2009 as it did in 1937. Krumbles were widely respectied as excellent source of roughage for promotion of lower colon health, though.


'Top O' the Morning Treat' circa 1931
'Top O' the Morning Treat' c. 1931



'Daddy's Girl, Growin' Big' circa 1950
'Daddy's Girl, Growin' Big' circa 1950


Sanka Commercial before Acquisition by
Maxwell House c. 1958

(Sanka was first invented in Germany, as Kaffee Hag, then promoted in the U.S. by Cleveland entrepreneur George
F. Gund II, who purchased Kaffee Hag for only $130,000
before eventually selling Kaffee Hag Corporation
to Kellogg's in 1927 for $10,000,000 in stock options.
Those stock options now represent 9.2% of Kellogg's
ownership.
Kellogg's Kaffee Hag Coffee was later sold,
to become Sanka, now owned by Maxwell House)



When the Great Were Small pamphlet circa 1938
When the Great Were Small pamphlet circa 1938




Irene Wicker Singing Lady Children's Mother Goose Action Circus
Ireene Wicker Singing Lady Children's Mother Goose Action Circus circa 1938




Howie Wing Cadet Aviation Corps Handbook circa 1939
Howie Wing Cadet Aviation Corps Handbook circa 1939



Breakfast In Hollywood Movie Ad
Breakfast In Hollywood Movie Ad


Need More Kelloggs? Try these Links


Kellogg’s USA Official Home Page
Kellogg’s 100th Anniversary Page
Kellogg’s Australia Home Page
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation Page
The George Gund Foundation Page
Tom Corbett - Space Cadet Page
Superman On The Radio
The Rediscovery of Howie Wing