Monday, July 20, 2020

Charles William Post (October 26, 1854 – May 9, 1914)

A native of Springfield, Illinois, Charles William Post, a cereal manufacturer and developer, came to this city in 1891 as a patient at the Battle Creek Sanitarium. In 1892 he opened his own sanitarium and dedicated himself to developing and manufacturing healthy food products such as Postum, Grape-Nuts and Post Toasties.

Post's formal education ended at the Illinois Industrial College (later to become the University of Illinois), where he completed only a botany course and withdrew at the age of 15. He worked for his father's business before moving to Chicago to work as a salesman for a farm equipment firm.b This job took him to the West, but he returned to Illinois at age 26.

A nervous breakdown in 1890 compelled Post to seek the care of a doctor, John Harvey Kellogg, who operated the Battle Creek (Michigan) Sanitarium on behalf of the Seventh Day Adventist Church. At the sanitarium Post was fed a grain-intensive vegetarian diet featuring a variety of products formulated by Kellogg himself.

Post left the sanitarium after a few months and briefly attempted to operate a competing clinic, La Vita Inn, in Battle Creek.

Post produced and marketed his first product—the cereal beverage called Postum—later founding the Postum Cereal Co. Ltd. Battle Creek. Other profitable products were soon developed, notably Grape Nuts (1897) and Post Toasties (1904, originally called Elijah’s Manna).

By the early 1900s Postum products were available nationwide and Post had become one of the top five advertisers in the country, spending over $1 million annually. His company's success made Post a millionaire.
Charles William Post (October 26, 1854 – May 9, 1914)

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