TRIVIAL PURSUITS: What Was the Problem With Sliced Bread?

January 18, 2011 ( - Frederick Rohwedder has been called the father of sliced bread, having worked for many years on developing a bread slicer, beginning in 1912.

His efforts encountered resistance from bakers, however – why did bakers resist this development?

Answer:  They said the bread would dry out.

Turns out that by 1927 Rohwedder had designed a machine that not only sliced the bread but also wrapped it, and that new and improved commercial bread slicer, was completed in 1928 (he filed his application for a patent on November 26, 1928).

As an interesting side note, the commercially sliced bread used uniform and somewhat thinner slices – and that led to people eating more slices of bread at a time, and ate bread more frequently.  That not only increased consumption of bread, but also the consumption of spreads, such as jam, to put on the bread.