The best thing since sliced bread

The first ready-sliced loaf was produced in 1928 by a bakery in Battle Creek, Michigan. By 1933, only five years later, American bakeries were turning out more sliced than unsliced bread. This gave a boost to another new invention: Charles Strife's spring-loaded, automatic, pop-up toaster which had been languishing on the shelves since 1926. With Rohwedder's standardized slices on the market, Strife's invention suddenly made sense. Battle Creek seems to have been a hot-bed of innovative foods.

Starting in 1912, Otto’s original experiments met with opposition from bakers, who thought that sliced bread would quickly go stale. His initial prototype design held the bread firmly together with metal pins and was unsuccessful. Sixteen years later innovator Otto Frederick Rohwedder had perfected a piece of equipment that not only cut bread into slices but also wrapped it in waxed paper. The first loaf of sliced bread was sold on July 7, 1928. Alas Battle Creek’s claim to fame is a little suspect since the first machine was installed at the Chillicothe Baking Company in Chillicothe, Missouri.

Innovative initially appeared in English in 1548. The Old French word innovation was taken from the Latin word innovatus the past participle of innovare meaning, "to renew or change." This became in- meaning into and novus, which has its roots in the Indo-European language meaning new.

Speaking of Latin tostum is the Latin word for scorching or burning and toasting bread started as a way of extending the life of bread. Toasting bread over a fire was a very common practice in Roman times. The original electric toaster was invented in Great Britain by Crompton and Co in 1893 and of course the Americans had re-invented it by 1909. However, it toasted only one side of the bread at a time making it necessary for someone stand nearby and turn it off manually when the toast looked done. It was Charles Strite innovator extraordinaire who created the modern timer, pop-up toaster in 1919.


Etymology Online:

Food Facts & Trivia: Sliced Bread:

Otto Frederick Rohwedder:

Take Our Word For It:

The History of Your Toaster:

In"no*va*tive (?), a.

Characterized by, or introducing, innovations.

Fitzed. Hall.


© Webster 1913.

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