History of Devils: Will Keith Kellogg/ The Devils Cereal!
Prepackaged and ready-to-eat breakfast cereals began with the American temperance movement in the nineteenth century. In the 1830s, the Reverend Sylvester Graham preached the virtues of a vegetarian diet to his congregation and in particular the importance of wholemeal flour. Meat-eating, he said, excited the carnal passions. Granula considered the first ready-to-eat breakfast cereal, was developed from his 'Graham flour' by one of his followers, James Caleb Jackson, for patients at the latter's water cure resort. It was a baked lump of slow-cooked wheat and water that was said to be hard as rock and had to be broken up and soaked overnight to be edible. It was sold at ten times the cost of its ingredients. The business motive for proselytizing by breakfast cereal was established.
Following on from Jackson, the Seventh Day Adventists took up the mission begun by Graham. A colony of them had set up in a small town called Battle Creek near the American Great Lakes in Michigan. There they established the Western Health Reform Institute in 1866 to cure hog guzzling and to their mind degenerate Americans of their dyspepsia and vices. John Harvey Kellogg turned it into the famous Battle Creek Sanatarium, a curious but money-spinning mix of health spa, holiday camp and experimental hospital. Kellogg, a sort of early cross between Billy Graham and Gillian McKeith, set about devising cures for what he believed were the common ills of the day, in particular constipation and masturbation. In Kellogg's mind the two were closely linked, the common cause being a lack of fibre, both dietary and moral.