Today in 1928, the Chillicothe Baking Company in Missouri began publicly selling something new: bread that had been sliced by a multi-bladed machine.
Up to that point a lot of people in the baking world thought it might be impossible to slice loaves that way, at least not without mangling or spoiling the bread.
But as the Washington Post’s Retropolis reported, an inventor from Iowa, Otto Frederick Rohwedder, had been working for years to fine-tune a machine that would not only cleanly and precisely cut slices of bread, it would also wrap them up once the slicing was done.
It didn’t catch on at first, but Rohwedder’s friend Frank Bench at Chillicothe decided to try it out.
He wrote in the advertising that the slices marked “the greatest forward step in the baking industry since bread was wrapped.”
That’s why sliced bread became the standard by which we measure greatness.
Sales took off, and they also led to booms in other industries, like pop-up toasters.
Maybe not a surprise that sales of those were low until sliced bread was plentiful.
And it put Chillicothe, Missouri on the map; the town’s official slogan is “Home of Sliced Bread” and they’ve pushed the state to recognize July 7th as Sliced Bread Day.
Maybe next they can team up with a town that’s famous for peanut butter and one that’s known for jelly and do some kind of festival together?
It’s an idea.
Today in 2017, there was quite a light show in the night sky for Australians.
Astronomers later found it was truly extraordinary: the meteor had basically used Earth as a “slingshot” to alter its course and send it toward Jupiter.
Nice to have a visitor.
‘Home of Sliced Bread’: A small Missouri town champions its greatest thing (Washington Post’s Retropolis)
One express ticket to Jupiter, please (Phys.org)