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NPR 4 THE DEAF: We Hear It Even When U Can’t

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FRESH AIR: Today, the typical American grocery store might devote an entire aisle to breakfast cereal, but that wasn’t always the case. In fact, boxed cereals were an invention of the 20th century, designed and marketed by two brothers from Michigan. Dr. John Harvey Kellogg had first conceived of a healthy, plant-based breakfast in his capacity as the director of the Seventh-day Adventist sanitarium in Battle Creek, Mich. His younger brother, Will, was the business innovator, who figured out how to market John’s creation. Medical historian Howard Markel describes the mass production of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes in 1906 as an event that took the world by storm. “You could simply pour breakfast out of a box,” he says. “Even dad could make breakfast now.” But despite their business success, the brothers’ relationship was contentious. A series of lawsuits ended with the Will being awarded the rights to the family name. “Will later made a mint off of bran cereals, even though that was truly John Harvey’s creation,” Markel says. “There was a lot of bad blood between them, and then after the lawsuit they rarely, if ever, spoke to one another again.” MORE

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