Talk:Sylvester Graham

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Graham diet article merged with this one: See old talk-page here.

Grahamites article merged with this one: See old talk-page here

Mike Hayes (talk) 17:10, 30 August 2008 (UTC)

Ordained when?[edit]

Although The Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and drink in America says that Graham was ordained in 1846 (I don't have it, so if you need more info you can ask User:Othello), I did a quick google search, and it looks like the information here before was correct, viz. He was ordained in 1826.[1][2][3](britannica 1911)(newer britannica, look at the summary 2nd to the bottom so you don't have to pay to see it ;) -Frazzydee| 23:45, 17 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I used the weblinks for most of my additions for this article on Graham, in addition to the OED of Food & Drink. The OED entry was helpful, and I did refer to it quite a bit. I am tempted to add the literary references that the OED author used, however, I question if this is appropriate - as I haven't read the books. In addition, I did not use any primary sources. For example, I did not go to research old newspapers (which are referred to in the article). I relied on other people's research, instead of doing my own. I think that is worth consideration in evaluating the article's content and for future revisions. Otto 16:33, 18 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Dead, how?[edit]

The fact that Mr. Health Nut died at 58 piqued my interest; after some superficial research I can't find anything referring to his cause of death. If nobody knows then the article should say so. Would anybody with a more thorough knowledge of Graham know his cause of death?

Old death files get a new life By Trudy Tynan, Associated Press | April 25, 2004

AMHERST -- When Sylvester Graham died in 1851 the cause of death was listed as "Congress waters and tepid baths." According to the records in Northampton City Hall, the eccentric health food pioneer remembered for inventing the graham cracker died at the age of 57 from drinking too much mineral water and ignoring his own advice to take bracing cold baths.

What does "congress waters" mean? Maikel (talk) 14:09, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
I would like to add to Maikel's questions asking also what does "bracing cold baths" mean? I looked up the word "brace" (i.e. 'to fasten tightly') and word for word I easily understand but the whole phrase, "bracing cold baths", what does it mean? -- (talk) 09:14, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
Shouldn't there be more written on his death? Also, what does "bracing cold baths" mean? -- (talk) 12:26, 29 November 2008 (UTC)

Bracing means invigorating. Actio (talk) 04:23, 29 May 2017 (UTC)

Special K[edit]

The article says: "Graham influenced notable figures in America, including Horace Greeley and John Harvey Kellogg of Battle Creek Sanitarium fame, and founder of Kellogg's." It was actually John Harvey Kellogg's brother, Will Keith Kellogg that founded the company that became Kellogg Company after they argued. Here's the reference from the John Harvey Kellogg article:

With his brother, Will Keith Kellogg, they started the Sanitas Food Company to produce their whole grain cereals around 1897. ... John and Will eventually argued over the addition of sugar to the cereals and in 1906 Will started his own company called “the Battle Creek Toasted Corn Flake Company”, which eventually became the Kellogg Company. They never spoke to each other again. John then formed the Battle Creek Food Company to develop and market soy products. 06:10, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Agreed. I'll remove the "founder of Kellogg's" part of the sentence. Tweisbach (talk) 04:14, 16 March 2008 (UTC)

Merge Grahamites here[edit]

I propose that the article "Grahamites" should be merged here as it is essentially redundant. Could be made into an intro to this article here. What do you think? Maikel (talk) 13:25, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

Merge Graham diet here[edit]

Same for Graham diet, it would make more sense as a chapter of this here article. Maikel (talk) 09:13, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

It would make a lot of sense in my opinion. After all, i hadnt even heard of the graham diet until reading the article on graham crackers. Cleave6 02:52, 29 July 2008 (EST)

health topic[edit]

perhaps a heading stating that the graham diet is not beneficial should be included, as spices such as peppers have positive health benefits, and page seems misleading towards this. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:59, 29 December 2009 (UTC)

Confusing Sentence[edit]

The article states, "He died the following year, at the age of 57, in Northampton, Massachusetts, where a restaurant, Sylvester's, now sits on the former location of his house." I have rarely, in my life, seen so many, commas, in a sentence, of this, length. It's confusing, too. Does Sylvester's stand on the place where he died? Did he die at home? Was his house located at the site of Sylvester's when he died, or was it already the site of his "former" home by the time he died? I'm guessing it should read "He died the following year, at the age of 57, in Northampton, Massachusetts. A restaurant called 'Sylvester's' now sits on the former location of his house." But I'll leave it to someone else in case I've misunderstood the sentence.Sadiemonster (talk) 16:55, 19 February 2015 (UTC)

unsourced, moved here[edit]

The following is almost all unsourced and was moved here per WP:PRESERVE. Per WP:BURDEN please do not restore without finding independent, reliable sources, checking the content against them, and citing them, and ensuring that this content has appropriate WP:WEIGHT in the article overall.


Grahamites, as Graham's followers were called, accepted the teaching of their mentor with regard to all aspects of lifestyle.[1] As such, they practiced abstinence from alcohol, frequent bathing, daily brushing of teeth, vegetarianism, and a generally sparse lifestyle. Graham also was an advocate of sexual abstinence, especially from masturbation, which he regarded as an evil that inevitably led to insanity. He felt that all excitement was unhealthful, and spices were among the prohibited ingredients in his diet. As a result, his dietary recommendations were inevitably bland, which led to the Grahamites consuming large quantities of graham crackers, a concept inspired by Graham's teachings. White bread was strongly condemned by Graham and his followers, however, as being essentially devoid of nutrition, a claim echoed by dietitians ever since. Some Grahamites lost faith when their mentor died at the age of fifty-seven. Other than the crackers, the Grahamites' major contribution to American culture was probably their insistence on frequent bathing. However, Graham's doctrines found later followers in the persons of Dr. John Harvey Kellogg and his brother Will Keith Kellogg. Their invention of corn flakes was a logical extension of the Grahamite approach to nutrition.

Grahamism was influential in the vegan movement. Sylvester Graham focused on meat and milk, which he believed to be the cause of sexual urges. In fact, he claimed animal byproducts produced lust; Grahamism thus rejected meat, animal byproducts, and alcohol in order to develop a purer mind and body.

Quite popular in the 1860s–1880s, Grahamism rapidly lost momentum and is now remembered mostly for its graham crackers, even though graham crackers do not resemble the graham bread he ate.


  1. ^ "USA: 19th Century Sylvester Graham (1795-1851)". International Vegetarion Union. Retrieved October 22, 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

-- Jytdog (talk) 02:44, 26 March 2018 (UTC)