Sliced Bread

We all take for granted everyday things that in fact are not that old. A good example is the ability to purchase from a store a loaf of bread already sliced and packaged.

Sliced bread was first manufactured on July 6, 1928, at Frank Bench’s Chillicothe Baking Company in Chillicothe, Missouri using the machine invented by Otto Frederick Rohwedder. He was an engineer, inventor and jeweler. It was well-received by the public, and plenty of research went into the process of perfecting sliced bread. It was determined that the ideal thickness of each slice was slightly less than half an inch. Sliced bread was also made to be softer than homemade loaves or bakery bread – this was purposeful since the public associated “squeezable softness” with freshness. It was promoted to the public as the average housewife would experience “a thrill of pleasure when she first sees a loaf of this bread with each slice the exact counterpart of its fellows. So neat and precise are the slices, and so definitely better than anyone could possibly slice by hand with a bread knife.”

Wonder Bread was one of the first brands to distribute sliced bread and it is still available on grocery store shelves today. The company was recently purchased by Flower Foods. The only time that sliced bread hasn’t been available to the American public was during World War II (the early 1940s) when the government banned factory-sliced bread in order to help conserve supplies, such as the paper used to wrap each loaf for freshness. But its popularity quickly rebounded once wartime bans were lifted and sliced bread remains an American staple to this day.

There is a saying; “the greatest thing since sliced bread” is often used to praise new innovation and ideas.” Here are a few items older than sliced bread. There are the Band-Aids starting in 1920, hearing aids came in 1902, jelly beans started in 1861, frozen packaged food started in 1927 along with Kool-Aid in 1927.

Photo: Early Advertisement for sliced Wonder Bread.

Related Blogs:

Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches

Foods of the 1800s


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