Dr. James Caleb Jackson:

The Manlius Native
Who Revolutionized Breakfast with “Granula”

Dt. James_Caleb_JacksonIntroduction

The story of breakfast cereal is a tale of innovation, health consciousness, and a quest for convenience that changed the way we start our day. While many of us are familiar with cereal giants like Kellogg’s and Post, few are aware of the pioneer behind this breakfast staple. Dr. James Caleb Jackson, a Manlius native, is the unsung hero who invented “granula,” the first manufactured breakfast cereal, in 1863. Operating from the Our Home Hygienic Institute in Dansville, a village about an hour south of Rochester, Dr. Jackson laid the foundation for the cereal industry we know today.

Early Life and Background

Born in 1811 in Manlius, New York, James Caleb Jackson was a man ahead of his time. His fascination with health, nutrition, and wellness led him on a lifelong journey to promote healthy living. In the mid-19th century, Dr. Jackson’s path crossed with the emerging health reform movement, which sought to improve people’s well-being through dietary changes and lifestyle adjustments.

The Our Home Hygienic Institute

In 1854, Dr. Jackson established the Our Home Hygienic Institute in Dansville, New York, where he put his progressive ideas into practice. This institute became a haven for those seeking natural and holistic remedies for various health issues. Dr. Jackson advocated for a vegetarian diet, regular exercise, fresh air, and clean water – principles that are widely accepted today but were radical ideas during his time.

The Birth of “Granula”

While Dr. Jackson was a staunch advocate for a vegetarian diet, he realized that patients often needed a convenient, portable, and nutritious food option. This realization led to the creation of “granula” in 1863. It was made from whole grains that were baked, broken into small pieces, and then baked again until crispy. This pioneering breakfast cereal was a far cry from the sugary cereals we know today but marked the beginning of a shift towards healthier breakfast options.

“Granula” gained popularity among the patients at the Our Home Hygienic Institute and beyond. It was lauded for its health benefits and ease of consumption, making it a hit in the world of health-conscious consumers.

Legacy and Impact

Dr. James Caleb Jackson’s invention of “granula” laid the foundation for the breakfast cereal industry. In fact, it inspired many future cereal entrepreneurs, including John Harvey Kellogg, who later created Corn Flakes. Dr. Jackson’s emphasis on health, nutrition, and wellness also played a pivotal role in shaping the broader health food movement that continues to influence dietary choices to this day.


Dr. James Caleb Jackson, a Manlius native, was not just a visionary but a pioneer in the field of nutrition and wellness. His invention of “granula” in 1863 marked a turning point in the way we view breakfast, paving the way for the modern cereal industry. Beyond his culinary creation, Dr. Jackson’s lifelong commitment to health and well-being left an indelible mark on the world of wellness and nutrition. As we enjoy our cereal in the morning, it’s worth remembering the name of the man who started it all, the man who made our breakfasts a little healthier – Dr. James Caleb Jackson.