You often hear things referred to as the best thing since sliced bread’. But when was sliced bread invented, and why is it such a good thing?
Bread: Who Kneads It? You wouldn’t have thought that inventing a machine to slice bread would be that difficult. Yet one man spent 16 years of his life on the project: Otto Rohwedder worked tirelessly to save everyone the effort of using a bread knife.
In 1917 a fire destroyed his prototype slicer after five years’ work and he still didn’t succeed in inventing a bread-slicing machine until 1928. The problem wasn’t slicing the bread but keeping it fresh once it had been sliced.
Rohwedder’s machine sliced the bread then immediately wrapped it up to keep it fresh. The first pre-sliced bread went on sale in Missouri, USA, in 1928.
Cutting your own bread isn’t always easy, depending on the shape of the bread and the sharpness of the knife, so ready-sliced bread is pretty handy. Within five years of Rohwedder’s invention, 80% of bread sold in the USA was sliced.
Born and bread: Nearly everyone in the UK eats bread – 99% of households buy it regularly and more than 12 million loaves of bread are sold every day. We should eat more wholemeal bread, though – 70% of the bread we eat in the UK is white.
Arguably, the most important part of the sandwich is the filling. Name two essential ingredients in your ultimate savoury sandwich and your sensational sweet sandwich.
If two fillings aren’t enough, then list any extras that make your creation so special. It’s no good having the secret to the ultimate sandwich if you don’t have a name for it.
Pop-up Toasters. The easy way to make toast requires sliced bread and a pop-up toaster, which had handily been invented first. The first electric toaster was invented in 1893 by a British company, Crompton and Co, but early toasters didn’t turn themselves off once the bread was toasted. The first toaster to pop out the toasted bread automatically was invented by Charles Strite in 1919. It went on sale in 1926, just in time for sliced bread.
How many different types of bread have you tried?