Battle Creek, 1895-1903
In 1876, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg became the medical superintendent of the small Seventh-Day Adventist sanitarium at Battle Creek called the Health Reform Institute. Renaming it the "Sanitarium," he expanded the facilities into one of the nation's leading health clinics. Specializing in helping those suffering from dyspepsia and severe indigestion, then called the "American disease," the Sanitarium rose to national prominence, expanding its facilities to accommodate about 650 patients by 1888. Kellogg also wrote prolifically about the principles of “biological living,” promoting his program for good health that became known as the "Battle Creek Idea." In that regard, his most lasting contributions revolved around the notion that good health stems from having a proper diet and getting enough exercise and rest.
The vegetarian and whole grain diet at the Sanitarium was so monotonous that it prompted Kellogg to begin looking for new foods for his patients. In 1884, he invented a flaked-cereal from whole grains called "Granula," a name he later changed to "Granola." Briefly turning his attention to nuts (a change that can be seen on the three menus below by comparing the dishes on the bill of fare in 1895 to those in 1899), Kellogg eventually returned to cereals, developing the famous breakfast product called "corn flakes." Together with his brother, he established the Battle Creek Toasted Corn Flake Co. which evolved into the Kellogg Company.
When the old Sanitarium burned down in 1902, the facility was quickly rebuilt and expanded. As shown on the cover of this menu from July 1903, it was now named the "Battle Creek Sanitarium," the small town in Michigan having become synonymous with the institution and its ideas.