Wednesday, September 06, 2006

From Dear Yahoo! - I know you wanted to know who invented sliced bread (yes, someone really did! I wonder if he got rich off it...)

Dear Yahoo!,

Who invented sliced bread?
Cookeville, Tennessee

Dear Jerid:
History is full of great inventions. But, with all due respect to the wheel, none are as celebrated as sliced bread. Because so many enthusiastic consumers enjoy comparing products to the breakfast staple, we thought it high time to give its creator, Otto Frederick Rohwedder, his due.
Mr. Rohwedder was born in the great state of Iowa and is generally credited with inventing the first automatic bread slicer in 1928. Before this, people had to slice their own bread, or, in a pinch, rip off a hunk. According to Food Reference, Rohwedder's invention was initially poo-pooed by bakers who felt sliced bread would go stale too quickly. Eventually, Rohwedder constructed a slicer that also wrapped the bread, effectively solving the problem.

In 1930, Wonder Bread began selling pre-sliced bread. Other large bakeries quickly hopped on the bandwagon. The trend also helped to boost the popularity of another invention still in use today -- the toaster. We wouldn't call it the greatest thing since sliced bread, but it's certainly up there.

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