William Danforth had the right product for turn-of-the-century St. Louis when he began making feed for horses and mules. But whole wheat cereal for humans was another matter; Danforth figured out how to market it while reading a physician's best-selling diet book. He went to Washington, D.C., to enlist the author's help. He offered the popular doctor a deal: if he would recommend the cereal to his 800,000 followers, Danforth would include the doctor's name on the cereal box. It worked. In fact, Dr. Ralston became so strongly associated with the wholesome cereal that Danforth renamed the company. He combined the doctor's famous name with his already established line of Purina animal chows.
May 1, 1986