Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Charles William Post of Post Cereal

Charles William Post was born on October 26, 1854 in Springfield, Illinois, his parents having migrated there from New England. His mother was a poet whose work was published in magazines, and his father, who joined the California gold rush as a forty-niner, held a variety of jobs and finally settled as a grain and farm equipment dealer.

C.W. Post first job, as a traveling salesman for an agricultural concern, took him to the West, but he returned to Illinois at age 26.

There he married Ella Merriweather and engaged in the design and manufacture of agricultural implements. During this period he invented and secured patents on such farm equipment as cultivators, a sulky plow, a harrow, and a haystacker.
While toiling at his job manufacturing farm equipment in 1885, Post had a mental breakdown. After quitting that job and becoming a real estate developer, he suffered another breakdown in 1891.

A second 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. While a patient, he observed the breakfast products that Kellogg was coming up with for the sanitarium inmates.

With rest and the ministrations of a Christian Science practitioner came recuperation, and soon he was experimenting with a cereal drink. After a number of experiments, Post produced and marketed his first product—the cereal beverage called Postum—founding the Postum Cereal Co. Ltd. He began producing Postum in 1895, and Grape-Nuts in 1897.

By 1901, at age 47, Post was making more than a million dollars a year in profit. He advertised that Grape Nuts cereal, which contained wheat bran and molasses, was more healthful than bread.

Following C.W. Post's death in 1914, the Postum Cereal Company parent corporation name is changed to General Foods Corporation.
Charles William Post of Post Cereal

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