John John, Dr John Harvey Kellogg, Kellogg discussed on American Innovations
It's february nineteen eight in louisiana. Intrepid woman in a lace fringed petticoat makes her way through the streets of jefferson city. She pauses at the corner of magazine berlin across the way is the creole cottage that houses her local grocer. She smooths her skirt fixes her face with more confidence than she feels and heads ads for the stores swing doors will kellogg put her up to this and not just her but all the women of america is latest commercial for kelloggs cornflakes cheaply dares women to wink at their grocer and quote see what they get for nineteen hundred eight. These ads are bold old and racy stuff but it's working beautifully now like thousands of others. This woman's taking kellogg up on the bear in her case. There's something more at stake. She's been looking for a reason to wink this particularly sweet store on her for some time. Now the grocer dressed in a white shirt and suspenders notices the woman the moment she enters good afternoon ms coleman. What may i get you. This fine day like she's for hearst miss. Miss coleman says nothing. She just winks the grocer smiles. You've seen those kellogg's ads my right. Ms coleman blesses well. Here's what that wink gets you this here. Free box of kellogg's toasted corn flakes a gift from the company. The grocer fetches. She's a white box off the shelf behind him and puts it on the counter. Oh what most wonderful surprise miss coleman notices something odd about the box wchs it looks like a box of cornflakes but it's not it's actually a box of kelloggs toasted rice flakes rice flakes. I did not know they made rice flakes. The grocer glances at the box. Oh i'm sorry ms coleman gave you the wrong bucks. The boxes do look very similar as is the grocer gets a box of cornflakes. Ms coleman looks again at the rice flakes or rice flakes pleasant. I've not tried yet but it it is made by kellogg's so i imagine it'd be pretty good in that case. I'll i'll buy a box n._b._a. Could try them and tell you what they're like. I'd like that very much. Coleman appraises ten cents same as cornflakes moments later this coleman leaves with her free box of cornflakes and the rice flakes and an excuse is to talk to the handsome grocer again but what she doesn't realize is that those rice flakes the same kellogg who makes cornflakes they're made by his brother dr john harvey kellogg and the confusion john's created with his branding is driving his younger brother nuts will thought his battles with john were over but now his brother's stealing his customers and will won't stand for it. He's no longer the downtrodden little brother subservient servian to john's every cruelty today. He's a successful industrialist with money and resources of zone dr john harvey kellogg. No longer has an underling underling to prop himself up. He's about to be shown up by the least likely person imaginable someone. He spent his whole life calling worthless from wonder this is american innovations and i'm steven johnson on the last episode. The kellogg brothers discovered the secret making flaked breakfast cereal. The masses had only just been introduced to ready to eat cereal created by their very own former battle creek sanitarium patient charles post. That's bird will keep kello to finally break free from his brother and found the battle creek toasted corn flakes company. Now it's nineteen. The weight and the tables are turning on the brothers lifelong few as it happens. The country is in the throes change to john will play a role in a sinister scientific movement laying the groundwork for unfathomable atrocities within his lifetime. Both the siblings have lasting impacts on america as we know it today safe but only one we'll give the name kellogg the meaning it's remembered by this is episode three battle of the brand it's august nineteen a week and we'll kellogg heads down mainstream in battle creek. A straw hat shielding his bald scalp from the summer heat. The look on his face is far from sunny. That's because the cereal tycoon is preoccupied with thoughts about his brother's latest intrusion on his business us right now he's trapped in his thoughts to notice just how dramatically he and john have transformed the town of their youth back then it was a small country settlement now it pulses with the wonders of modernity red and green trams rattled down the streets lined with electric lights lights and telephone poles the constant influx of new arrivals fuels a construction boom in a growing downtown marketplace factories are everywhere and they're not only turning out the breakfast. Foods battle creek is famous for their also making the ovens boxes conveyor belts and other equipment cereal manufacturers depend and on and it all began with the kellogg brothers they put this michigan town on the map by turning the battle creek sanitarium into a world famous health resort resort they kindled local industry with their innovative ready to eat breakfast cereals but will feels no pleasure from their shared achievements when he thinks of john all he feels is spite especially today. The latest batch of acrimony began last year. You're will started it when he gave his battle creek toasted cornflake company a new name the kellogg toasted cornflake company will new john john would object to the name and that he would try to use his position on the company's board to obstruct the change so we'll get the board to approve the new name while john was away in europe by the time. John got back to battle creek. It was too late. John brooded over his brother's sneaky move for a a few months and then began executing his retaliation. Just before new year's day nineteen hundred eight he resigned from the board of wills company it told will he wanted to spend more time. Focusing on the status nut food company the food business he'd formed in eighteen ninety eight is an offshoot of the sanitarium and the first thing he did was renamed his food business kellogg's food company of battle creek. The name was designed to inflate his is products with his brothers and it did now. Wholesalers roasters and customers alike struggled to differentiate between the two kellogg companies anthony's even the post office getting their mail mixed up once john begins manufacturing rice and wheat flakes. He makes his packaging indistinguishable bowl from his brother's cornflakes. The brothers have now both threatened the other with lawsuits. Their lawyers are poised for action just waiting for the word as he makes his way through downtown battle creek. We'll consider his options. He knows an ugly court battle hurt the company's brand. Getty eighty cannot stomach the idea of being exploited by his brother yet again. What's more willis obligated to defend the interests of his investors. John mauer competitor competitor a threat to the livelihoods of everyone who works at kellogg's we'll cannot sit by as sales or lost as bad as he wants to fight and when he figures he has to take one final shot at reconciliation to avoid courtroom showdown his dreadful hand-wringing is suddenly intolerable eligible to him now is the time we'll changes direction he heads north of michigan avenue and crosses the spaniel arched bridge approach that stretches over the glimmering waters battle creek he then heads west through the leafy streets and pass the sprawling fenced off grounds of the battle creek week sanitarium thirty minutes later he reaches john's large gothic revival home on manchester street will marches up painted needed white steps to the front door that twenty room house john calls the residents he removes his straw hat mops his sweaty brow and bangs to brass door knocker john's wife ella opens the door. She's a stern woman with grey curly hair. The moment she sees will her face darkens. Oh it's you low. Ella pleasure as always is john here. L. turns her back to will and yells else. John will is at the door as they wait for john will in l. a. eyeball each other on the doorstep in frosty silence they no longer pretend not to hate each other eventually. John appears in the doorway or do you want. I want to reach an accommodation. This dispute has gone far enough l. A. snaps at will yes it has it's about time you stopped using john's good name to enrich yourself wills composure snaps me me. He's the one riding on my coattails. He never cared about the cereal business until he saw my success now. He wants it from self because he cannot stand anyone anyone but him getting the glory how dare you we both know that i am the real kellogg. They buy your cereal because they think i'm the one selling it. Your success is a parasite parasite on mine will looks down and steadies himself against the bile of his hatred. He reminds himself why he's here and forces out a reasonable tone own john. What you're doing will ruin both our companies. If this ends up in court it will embarrass us. Both l. sets off so do what john says. John cuts across his wife ellen. Please but will speak. Thank you let me clear brother. I will go to court if i must. I just hope and pray that there's a better way to resolve this after our negotiating on the doorstep john and will reach an agreement john will stop selling cereals under the kellogg nick in return will will pay john fifty thousand dollars plus additional stock in the cornflakes business. It's the two brothers shake hands but the truce lasts less than a month a few weeks later. John has a change of heart and hostilities resume for the next two years. The animosity subterfuge and retaliation escalates as does the success of their cereal companies under will's autocratic leadership kellogg toasted cornflakes company thrives nineteen ten. He's selling millions of boxes axes of flaked breakfast cereal every year john's enjoying more modest success with his newest product sterilized brand. It's a serial made from the fiber. Rich outer layer of wheat grain john's promoting it as a constipation remedy. It's a powerful selling point in one thousand nine. John sells around a hundred thousand boxes of sterilized brand. The sales of sterilized brand aren't much of a threat to will cereal empire but john's copycat packaging coaching is unlike will john refuses to add salt sugar and other flavorings to his breakfast cereals that worries.