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On this Day: Sliced Bread becomes the Standard for Innovation



On July 7, 1928, sliced bread was sold for the first time in history.

The Chillicothe Baking Company of Chillicothe, Missouri, was the first to use a machine that had been invented 16 years before by Otto Frederick Rohwedder.

On January 18, 1943, U.S. officials imposed a ban on sliced bread as a wartime conservation measure. Less than a week later the following letter appeared in the New York Times from a distraught housewife:

"I should like to let you know how important sliced bread is to the morale and saneness of a household. My husband and four children are all in a rush during and after breakfast. Without ready-sliced bread I must do the slicing for toast—two pieces for each one—that's ten. For their lunches I must cut by hand at least twenty slices, for two sandwiches apiece. Afterward I make my own toast. Twenty-two slices of bread to be cut in a hurry!"
On March 8, 1943, the ban was rescinded.
For more than 80 years sliced bread has been the standard for innovation. No one ever says, "That's the best thing since the cell phone," or the personal computer, or even Google. No, it is always, "That's the best thing since sliced bread."




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