Today in 1943, the US government tried to help the war effort in a way that did NOT go over well.

They tried to halt the sales of sliced bread.

This was in the middle of World War II, a time when the government had restricted time and time again what people could buy and use.

There were ingredients, supplies and materials that the military needed.

So those on the home front had ration books that set purchase limits on almost everything: sugar, fish, coffee, gasoline, rubber, even paper.

As the war continued, more items came under these limits.

In 1943, Agriculture Secretary and Food Administrator Claude Wickard announced that the sale of sliced bread was off limits.

Officials said sliced bread required more waxed paper than unsliced loaves.

They said the US couldn’t spare the steel in bread slicing machines, or even that the cost of the bread slicers drove up the cost of bread.

Consumers didn’t buy any of those explanations.

Sliced bread had really only been around for about a decade and a half, but Americans had fallen hard for those convenient, time-saving loaves.

People wrote in to the newspapers to say that losing sliced bread was a blow to the “saneness” – that’s the word they used – of the household, especially since they couldn’t easily get hold of bread knives at the time either.

Bread bakers who already had working slicers asked why they couldn’t use machines they already had.

And they pointed to falling bread sales when sliced loaves went off the market.

The government relented, saying that they weren’t actually saving money from the sliced bread rule like they’d hoped.

So the ban that had been announced in mid-January was lifted in early March.

Or would it be fair to say it was sliced off the rulebooks?

Happy Winnie the Pooh Day.

If you’re a big fan, you may already know that there is a World Poohsticks Championship.

Poohsticks is a game that comes from the books, in which players drop sticks into a river.

Whichever stick emerges from a nearby bridge first is the winner.

Pre-Sliced Bread Was Once Banned in the United States (Today I Found Out)

Witney’s World Poohsticks Championships mark 35 years (BBC)

Our Patreon backers are the best things since sliced bread 

Photo by Bart Everson via Flickr/Creative Commons