When sliced bread hit the market,  July 7, in 1928

 


When sliced bread hit the market, American consumers weren’t sure just how great it was. On this day, July 7, in 1928, a bakery in Chillicothe, Mo., was the first to sell pre-cut bread using Otto Frederick Rohwedder’s invention: the automatic bread-slicing machine.
While an advertisement touted it as “the greatest forward step in the baking industry since bread was wrapped,” customers were wary. According to the author of Why Do Donuts Have Holes?: Fascinating Facts About What We Eat And Drink, the loaves failed to fly off the shelves, partly “because they were sloppy looking.”
Aesthetics aside, sliced bread in the pre-preservative era also went stale faster than its intact counterpart. Rohwedder came up with a solution: U-shaped pins that held the loaf together, making it appear whole inside its packaging, according to the New York Times.
Still, some people were bewildered by the concept itself, according to the Smithsonian Museum, where Rohwedder’s second bread slicer resides. 

(The first fell apart after six months of heavy use.) “The idea of sliced bread may be startling to some people,” a 1928 story in the Chillicothe newspaper acknowledged. “Certainly it represents a definite departure from the usual manner of supplying the consumer with baked loaves.”

Another ad offered instructions for the confounded, per the Times: 1) “Open wrapper at one end,” 2) “Pull out pin,” 3) “Remove as many slices as desired.”

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