1916 Kellogg’s Corn Flakes Advertisement

Source: Ladies Home Journal (April, 1916)
Source: Ladies Home Journal (April, 1916)

When I saw this adorable ad for Kellogg’s Corn Flakes I couldn’t quite decide whether I should smile, or feel a twinge of sadness that processed breakfast foods were around a hundred years ago.


54 thoughts on “1916 Kellogg’s Corn Flakes Advertisement

  1. I grew up with corn flakes, raisin bran, Cream of Wheat, and the various Chex cereals. Today, my dry cereal of choice is GrapeNuts. The truth of the matter is, there’s nothing wrong with a bowl of those with a banana or strawberries. Where we went wrong with cereal was taking the path lined with Cocoa Puffs, Sugar Pops, and Froot Loops. Good grief. Even thinking about those makes me a bit queasy!

  2. What an adorable little boy in that advertisement. I wonder if he was based on a real boy and what became of his life. And did he really enjoy the cornflakes. I love cornflakes. I’m like you on the mixed feelings.

      1. I agree. He’s got that special twinkle in his eyes like a real child. ๐Ÿ™‚
        Hey, pop on over to my blog for a visit when you get time, I made Johnny Apple Cake (as best as I could)
        Thanks for your fun and interesting blog. I enjoyed making the recipe and thinking about it being from history makes it all the more special.
        Thanks again. ๐Ÿ™‚

        1. I’m honored that made a recipe from A Hundred Years Ago. And, I absolutely love how you interpreted it. The stewed apples are a wonderful addition. This looks incredible. If I make again, I may use your version of the recipe. ๐Ÿ™‚

          For other readers, here is the link to your post: https://joysofcreating.com/2016/04/21/apple-johnny-cake-from-a-hundred-years-ago

          I’m also going to add a comment on my Apple Johnny Cake post that tells readers about it.

  3. A weary cook likely appreciated the ease of getting breakfast on the table. Kellogg’s corn flakes, my first processed cereal, still eat them.

    1. Good point. The women back then worked so hard putting meals on the table day in and day out – and they probably really appreciated the availability of corn flakes.

  4. A darling ad – but I totally agree with you. My husband is listening to a book about the food industry right now. Very disheartening info. I kind of wish he would stop telling me about it… ๐Ÿ˜‰

      1. That’s about how I feel about it. This morning’s tid-bit was that meat had ammonia in it from about 2000 – 2012 (I think that’s what he said). It was used to soften the meat so they could sell leaner cuts. Ammonia?! His tid-bits are interesting but kind of stressful. I can’t imagine how much anxiety I would feel if I read the whole book…

  5. My husband still mixes his Kellogg Corn flakes in with other higher fiber cereals and sprinkles cranberries, dried and blueberries on top with Almond milk. What a combination that tastes delicious!! Mixing the old with the new.

    1. I don’t know if it was the same – though according to Wikipedia, the original Corn Flakes that were developed in the late 1800s didn’t have any sugar. But in the early 1900s they started adding sugar to the Corn Flakes “to make them more palatable to a mass audience.”

    1. The Kellogg’s Company has an interesting history. According to Wikipedia, Corn Flakes were invented by a Dr. Kellogg and his brother at the Battle Creek Sanitarium. The Sanitarium was a health resort, and Corn Flakes were a health food that was served to the patients.

    1. It’s strange how we can almost step into a time machine when we look at pictures from a hundred years ago. Back when I first started this blog, I used to post the diary entries of my grandmother a hundred years to the day after she wrote them. My grandmother was a teen-ager at the time – and when she wrote about silly things she did, I had an urge to give her advice from my perspective as the mother of grown children. Then I’d realize that the events she wrote about took place a hundred years ago–and that our roles had somehow become reversed through the lens of time.

  6. A few years later (1927), Kellogg’s introduced Rice Krispies, which I adored as a child because I loved listening to the “snap, crackle and pop” when milk was poured on the cereal. My own kids loved it when I poured their milk and suggested they be very quiet so they could hear the krispies chattering away. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Now that you mention it, I can remember listening to the “snap, crackle and pop” too when I was a child. Thanks for jogging a memory.

    1. I’m glad that my posts give you food for thought. One thing I’ve learned from doing this post is that Corn Flakes invoke strong emotions from readers – both positive and negative. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Now when people say I should eat “healthier” like they did 100 yrs ago, I can tell them I already do!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. My mother bought corn flakes. My aunt bought Wheaties. I always enjoyed breakfast at my cousins so I had a chance to eat Wheaties. Mostly we ate hot cereals though. This was in the 1950s so they had been around a long time.

    Finding Eliza

    1. Like you, we sometimes ate Corn Flakes when I was young. I also remember eating Frosted Flakes. As a kid, I really liked the Tony the Tiger ads. ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. I love red-heads! And cereal. Cereal is not a problem as long as there is no “junk”. And I don’t think way back when they had invented “junk” yet ; )

    1. The red head in the picture is absolutely adorable. When I read hundred-year-old magazines, I find it interesting that people were starting to worry about “adulterated” food back then – though I think that most of the concerns surrounded canned goods. But there is a really interesting case from that era related to concerns about adulterated whiskey. The president of the U.S. at the time, William Taft, even got caught up in the controversy; and in 1909 the president defined “What is whiskey?” with the Taft Decision. The Bourbon Review did a post on it:


    1. It would be fun if Kellogg’s had a Corn Flakes Classic version of the cereal – sort of like how there is Coca Cola Classic. ๐Ÿ™‚

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