John Harvey Kellogg

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This classic photograph from the early 1900s captures a group breathing activity at the Battle Creek Sanitarium in Michigan, which became one of the most famous health resorts in the world under the stewardship of Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, a brilliant if eccentric doctor, a holistic enthusiast and an enterprising Adventist. Originally established in 1866 as the Western Health Reform Institute, Kellogg’s spa offered restorative hydrotherapy, diet, exercise, enemas and vibratory chairs. The good doctor also was co-inventor of the cornflake with his brother, Will Keith Kellogg. The sanitarium remained open until the 1940s when it was purchased by the U.S. government and converted into an Army hospital. An excerpt from the 1943 New York Times obituary for Kellogg, who lived until 91:

“A determined practitioner of the rules for simple eating and living he preached for all humanity, Dr. Kellogg was perhaps the best example of the truth of his own dogmas.

When he became a physician Dr. Kellogg determined to devote himself to the problems of health, and after taking over the sanitarium he put into effect his own ideas. Soon he had developed the sanitarium to an unprecedented degree, and he launched the business of manufacturing health foods. He gained recognition as the originator of health foods and coffee and tea substitutes, ideas which led to the establishment of huge cereal companies besides his own, in which his brother, W. K. Kellogg, produced the cornflakes he invented. His name became a household word.

Dr. Kellogg’s youth was one of hard work. Born in Tyrone, N. Y., on Feb. 26, 1852, he moved to Battle Creek with his parents, John Preston and Ann Jeanette Kellogg, at an early age. He worked in his father’s broom factory and also served as a ‘printer’s devil’ in Battle Creek publishing houses.”


Anthony Hopkins as Kellogg in the 1994 film adaptation of T.C. Boyle’s novel, The Road to Wellville:

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