I caught this on NPR:
You’ve heard people call some innovation the greatest thing since sliced bread. Well, that was a real event. The first commercially sliced bread was sold in Chillicothe, Mo., on July 7, 1928. People had to slice it themselves in the old days. The innovation is now the occasion for an annual bluegrass festival, and lawmakers are debating a bill to declare sliced bread day
I remember my grandmother telling me how happy she was to buy bread instead of baking two or three times a week (related to family income I think), but I don’t remember her mentioning sliced bread. So I wanted to learn more.
Wikipedia says bread cut with a slicing machine was advertised as “the greatest forward step in the baking industry since bread was wrapped.” I guess those images of a Frenchman peddling along with a long loaf, bare naked (the loaf that is), under one arm are more romantic than preferred.
Thank you, Otto Frederick Rohwedder of Davenport, Iowa, USA, for inventing the first loaf-at-a-time bread-slicing machine. One of his early customers, Gustav Papendick, figured out how to easily slide the sliced loaf into a bag. Sliced bread was a hit, and In 1930 Wonder Bread began marketing sliced bread nationwide. The convenience was credited with increasing consumption of bread and everything you might slather on it.
Theatlantic adds “with such products rapidly penetrating the American home, automated bread-making was not only an invention benchmark, but also a key indicator of the mechanization of daily life from the 1930s onward.” I guess that’s where my grandmother comes into the story.