What was the best thing before sliced bread?
Sliced Bread Invented (1928): Before the invention of
pre-sliced bread, people either baked their bread at home or bought full
loaves of bread. For both home-baked and store-bought loaves of bread,
the consumer had to personally cut off a slice of bread every time he
wanted one, which meant rugged, irregular cuts.
This all changed when Otto Frederick Rohwedder, from Davenport, Iowa,
invented the Rohwedder Bread Slicer. Rohwedder began working on
inventing a bread slicer in 1912. Unfortunately, bakers scoffed at
Rohwedder's early slicers; the bakers were sure that the bread would
quickly go stale if pre-sliced. Determined in his belief that pre-sliced
bread would be a major convenience for consumers, Rohwedder continued
to work on his invention.
In one attempt to solve the staleness worry, Rohwedder used hat pins to
keep the pieces of bread together in the hopes of keeping the loaf
fresh. However, since the hat pins continually fell out, this did not
In 1928, Rohwedder came up with a way to not only slice bread but to
keep it fresh. Once the approximately five-foot long and three-foot high
Rohwedder Bread Slicer sliced the bread, it would also wrap it in a wax
paper to keep it from going stale.
Even with the sliced bread wrapped, many bakers remained dubious. In
1928, Rohwedder traveled to Chillicothe, Missouri where baker Frank
Bench took a chance and used Rohwedder's invention. The very first loaf
of pre-sliced bread went on shelves on July 7, 1928 as "Sliced Kleen
Maid Bread." Bench's sales quickly skyrocketed and they knew the
invention was a success.
In 1930, Wonder Bread began to commercially produce pre-sliced loaves of
bread, popularizing sliced bread and making it a household staple." http://history1900s.about.com/od/1920s/qt/slicedbread.htm