Nagel Brothers – Inventors of Rolled Oats

The Nagel Brothers of Bushnell, IL were the first to invent a process of making rolled oats without having to steam the oats.  Until that time, the oats were first steamed to separate the groat from the hull. The brothers patented the new process and later sold it to the Quaker Company, who in turned changed forever the way we enjoy breakfast.

The Nagel Roller Mills was founded in the early 1900 by John and Henry Nagel. The new rolled oats were first manufactured in the Nagel’s mill in Bushnell. The first mill burned in 1910. It was rebuilt but was struck by lightning and again damaged by fire in 1914. It was then again rebuilt in 1915.

Rolled oats are whole oat groats that are rolled through a process that flatten them into oat flakes. The oat is referred to as a groat once the hull has been removed.