Today in History: July 7

Announcing: The Greatest Forward Step in the Baking Industry Since Bread was Wrapped—Sliced Kleen Maid Bread—an ad placed in Chillicothe, Missouri, newspapers announcing the newest greatest thing, to be sold starting July 7, 1928.

The Chillicothe Baking Company started selling loaves of sliced bread on this date in 1928. An inventor from Davenport, Iowa, Otto Rohwedder, had dedicated years of his life to perfecting a machine that would slice a loaf of bread. His invention solved problems that only someone who had spent years trying to invent a machine to slice loaves of bread would know needed to be addressed: slice uniformity; a means of holding the loaf together, now that slicing it has ruined the loaf’s structural integrity; protection from drying out, now that the loaf’s insides have been exposed. His machine sliced and wrapped the loaves.

Bakers disregarded his efforts and claimed that pre-sliced loaves of bread would dry out faster and thus annoy their customers. Retailers were not interested in selling bread by the slice, either.

The bakery at Chillicothe took a chance, however, and it had an immediate success. From 1928 to this day, we have an expression for successful innovations: “The greatest thing since sliced bread.” Before July 7, 1928, we had neither sliced bread nor that expression.

According to some sources, by 1933, America’s bakeries were selling more loaves of sliced bread than unsliced bread.

* * * *
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle died on this date in 1930. Bill Cullen died on this date in 1990. Fred Neil died fifteen years ago today. Syd Barrett died ten years ago today.

* * * *
Gustav Mahler was born on this date in 1860. One-time Ulster County, New York, resident Marc Chagall was born on this date in 1887. Otto Rohwedder (see above) was born on this date in 1880. George Cukor was born on this date in 1899. Satchel Paige was born on this date in 1906. Robert A. Heinlein was born in 1907 on this date. William Kunstler was born on this date in 1919. Mary Ford was born on this date in 1924. Charlie Louvin was born in 1927 on this date.

* * * *
Doc Severinsen is 89 today. He is still touring and performing. David McCullough is 83 today. Ringo Starr is 76 today. Bill Oddie is 75. Shelley Duvall is 67. Jessica Hahn is 57. Vonda Shepard is 53. Jim Gaffigan is 50.

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6 comments

  1. loisajay · July 7

    Jim Gaffigan+sliced bread+fat jokes….yes, it all makes sense.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mark Aldrich · July 7

      I had a fat joke in there?

      Like

      • loisajay · July 7

        No, you did not. But Jim Gaffigan wrote the book on ‘Dad is Fat’ and too much bread makes you fat, plus it’s his birthday….stay with me, Mark! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

Please comment here. Thank you, Mark.

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