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A Storied Cereal

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Thursday, August 1st. Supermarkets carry dozens of brands in their cereal aisles, from the sugary and candy-like to high-fiber organic products. One of them has been available for 126 years, an early entrant in the cereal business.

On this date in 1893, Denver restaurant owner Henry Perky received a patent for a “Machine for the Preparation of Cereals for Food.” That food was shredded wheat. By 1901, he had set up an ultra-modern plant at Niagara Falls to make shredded wheat, and the falls became the familiar logo of the cereal, which continues as a Nabisco product.

Nationwide today, there are 87 breakfast cereal manufacturing establishments, employing over 13,000 workers in the $9.4 billion annual business.

You can find more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau online at

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Joseph Nathan Kane, Kane’s Famous First Facts, Fifth Edition, H.W. Wilson Co., New York, NY 1997, # 3924

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