Wyoming Man Patented The First Rice Cereal 100 Years Ago Today
If you've ever had a Rice Krispies treat, you can thank a guy from the tiny town Arminto, Wyoming.
100 years ago today, on May 14, 1918, Hazime Fukuda received a patent for the first rice cereal. A decade later, iconic cartoon characters Snap, Crackle and Pop helped make rice cereal a beloved breakfast staple around the world.
Fukuda is credited with developing the process for toasting rice that produced a popping sound when milk was added. His method was later adapted by Kellogg's and has since spawned dozens of popular products, including Rice Krispies and Pebbles in a variety of flavors.
Aside from his patent, not much is known about Fukuda. At the time, the town of Arminto was the railhead for Wyoming's lucrative sheep shipping industry. In 1918, there were an estimated 6 million sheep in the state and annual wool production topped $30 million. Arminto is now a ghost town, with an official population of 5.