The first rumblings of Kellogg's Corn Flakes was in 1877 when Dr. John Kellogg was experimenting in 'healthy eating', a/k/a/ 'biological living'. He made some dough and mistakenly left it out all night. Next morning, it was stale. When he and his brother Will rolled out the hard dough, it flaked. Undaunted they baked it anyway, and surprise! The cereal flake was born.

Experimenting with different grains, they decided corn was the best to use...and in 1897, Kellogg's Corn Flakes made its first appearance on breakfast tables. It wasn't until 1906 when the Battle Creek Toasted Corn Flake Company (before it was named Kellogg's) was launched.

There are any number of things that could have graced the boxes of Kellogg's Corn Flakes...and many things did. Kids, corn, girls, bowls filled with cereal...yawn.

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The first boxes of Kellogg's Corn Flakes simply had the name of the cereal plastered on the front: “Toasted Corn Flakes”. This was followed by a picture of a girl embracing stalks of corn and labeled “Sweetheart of the Corn”. Then the boxes began experimenting with kids, ears of corn, etc. until the 1950s, when they finally hit upon using a rooster for a mascot.

“Oh, what a clever idea” thought the public. “A rooster crows in the morning, waking people up so they can start the day with a big bowl of Kellogg's Corn Flakes”! Sounds like a good idea, but it wasn't so.

It was in 1957 when Kellogg's introduced a green and red rooster that eventually acquired the name 'Cornelius', or 'Corny'.

According to, “Will Kellogg and Welsh harpist Nansi Richards crossed paths while she was on tour Stateside, and she suggested using the rooster — as it turns out, the word for rooster in Welsh, "ceilog," sounded just like Kellogg.”

So that answered that question...but why the green and red colors? It's been suggested that the colors were taken from the Welsh flag of Nansi Richards' homeland.

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