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The once-powerful Ralston Purina, manufacturer of breakfast cereals, was swallowed up by Nestlé in 2001, but the company has ties to a turn-of-the-20th-century university professor in D.C. According to The Food Chronology, Ralston Purina…
gets its name as officials of the 8-year-old Robinson-Danforth Commission Co. at St. Louis make an arrangement with officials of the Ralston Health Club, a worldwide organization established by Washington D.C., university professor Albert Webster Edgerly, 50. He is sometimes called “Dr. Ralston,” and his book Complete Life Building propounds simple rules and facts about common foods and promotes good nutrition, urging readers to avoid heavy use of preservatives and artificial sweeteners. Ralston Purina promotes its 3-year-old Purina breakfast food and introduces Ralston cereals that will compete with those of Quaker Oats, Post, and Kellogg.