Friday, October 26, 2012
October 26 is the birthdate of Charles "C.W." Post, founder of Postum Cereal Co. and creator of Grape Nuts cereal. He suffered from work-related nervous breakdowns and stomach ills, and he traveled widely to seek a cure for the latter, including a stay at John Kellogg’s Battle Creek Sanitarium in Michigan. This led to Post’s concoction of Grape Nuts, which had nothing to do with grapes or nuts but consisted of wheat and barley formed into a batter baked into rigid sheets, which were then broken and run through a coffee grinder to produce "nut"-sized kernels. The cereal had a long history of borderline-crackpot health claims (pictured). Post’s daughter, Marjorie Merriweather Post, inherited a vast fortune at age 27 when her father killed himself. She famously married four times and turned Post into General Foods, Inc.