Author Topic: The greatest thing since. . . A look at the history of sliced bread and its jeweler inventor as it celebrates 85th anniversary  (Read 326 times)

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Offline flowers

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Rohwedder, a jeweler by profession, was sure that sliced bread would be a success that would change the baking industry for the better.

He first came up with the idea in 1912, while living in St Joseph, Missouri, with his wife and two children.

Convinced that this invention would be a success, he sold his three jewelry stores in the Missouri town, and put the money towards his new venture.

His first prototype held the bread slices together by metal hat pins, an unpopular idea among bakeries, since the pins regularly fell out.

And he suffered a major setback in 1917, when a fire destroyed the factory that contained both the blueprints and the original prototype of his bread slicer.

Despite these obstacles, though, Rohwedder was determined to put his invention to action.

So he spent the following several years rebuilding his funds and finding investors, working as an investment and security agent in the meantime in order to support his family.

In 1927, he had designed another bread-slicing machine. This one not only sliced the loaves, but it also wrapped them in paper to keep the bread fresh.
Sliced bread

Bakers were skeptical at first. But Frank Bench, a baker friend of Rohwedder's who lived in Chillicothe, Missouri, was the first to put his bread slicer to the test.

The very first loaf of pre-sliced bread, called Sliced Kleen Maid Bread, hit shelves on July 7, 1928, causing Bench's sales to skyrocket almost overnight.

Two years later, Wonder Bread and several other major companies began selling sliced bread with the help of Rohwedder's invention
Otto Rohwedder

Determined: Rohwedder sold his three jewelry stores and overcame a fire that destroyed his first prototype before he was finally successful

And by 1933, just five years after Rohwedder's machine was introduced to the baking industry, 80per cent of the bread turned out by bakeries in America was pre-sliced with his machine.

Sandwich bread quickly became a household item, but another event threatened its existence in 1943.

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Offline truth_seeker

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I remember when thin-sliced bread was thought of as a budget stretcher, and later as a weight watcher.


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