About the Author
Edmund Shaftesbury was a prolific author of self-help and utopian religious texts, producing over 100 books, most of them "official" books to buy as a member of the Ralston Health Club; they were "chock-full of racist rants, naive pseudoscience, and curmudgeonly attacks on modern society." He also dabbled unsuccessfully in real-estate speculation and the theater, and invented a language called Adam-Man Tongue that was "nothing more than a bizarre-looking version of English." One of his books, Life Building Method of the Ralston Health Club, endorsed the consumption of whole grain cereal. When William Danforth of animal feeds maker Purina Mills began making a breakfast cereal similar to the kind described in the book in 1898, he sought and received the endorsement of Edgerly to market Ralston breakfast cereal. Ralston cereal became so successful that in 1902 Purina Mills was renamed Ralston-Purina. The breakfast cereal operations evolved into Ralcorp. He died November 5, 1926 in Trenton, New Jersey, and his wife sold the property the following year.
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