Sunday, June 8, 2014

Object of the Day: Toasted Corn Flakes

Click on image to be the Sweetheart of the Corn.  If you dare.

Will Keith Kellogg, a former broom salesman, began working with his brother, John Harvey Kellogg at Michigan’s Battle Creek Sanitarium to develop a healthy vegetarian diet. There, they created corn flakes as a healthful breakfast. By 1906, W.K. had begun manufacturing and marketing his famous corn flakes for the public from a plant in Battle Creek. At the time, the company was called “The Battle Creek Toasted Cornflake Company.” Early marketing campaigns, however, quickly realized the value of assigning a family name to the brand and the product became known as “Kellogg’s Corn Flakes.” By 1914, all advertising highlighted the Kellogg name and by 1922, the name of the company was changed to Kellogg’s.

Here, we have one of the very first Corn Flakes ads from 1906. These are really difficult to come by, and, oddly enough, this one came to me as something of a surprise—casually included with a lot of ephemera which I’d purchased.

Clearly preserved in an album for over a century, this 1906 trade card is in excellent condition. The reverse is still lined with the pink page of the album in which it was once mounted. With its image of a robust young lady embracing some corn (as one does when one is the so-called “Sweetheart of the Corn”), the card definitely reinforced the notion that this cereal was a nutritious foodstuff.

I wonder how this lass earned the title of “The Sweetheart of the Corn.” Hmmm…
Let’s see what it says beneath the nifty picture of the early Corn Flakes box.
THE white heart of the beautiful pearly corn,
flaked to wafer thinness and toasted to just the
right degree of dainty crispness—is just as sweet
and good and wholesome as the Sweetheart in the
Kellogg’s Toasted Corn Flakes.
     Nothing better for breakfast, summer or winter.
     Why not let our Sweetheart be your Sweetheart?
     Kellogg’s Toasted Corn Flakes is everybody’s

Well, aside from the offering of the corn lady as everyone’s sweetheart, this sounds like something I’d have written. It’s just a nice way of saying—“Corn. Eat it.”

No comments: