Using a Machine Designed by Otto Rohwedder Sliced Bread Sells for the First Time – July 7, 1928
Ok so was Otto Rohwedder, a jeweler by trade, was just sitting around one day and thought ” I think I can design a machine that slices bread!” Must be nice! I sure wish I had those kinds of thoughts!
Anyway that’s what he did and in 192 7, Rohweder not only designed a machine that slice bread, but the machine also wrapped it!! After applying for patents, he sold his first machine to a friend, Frank Bench, who was a baker. The machine was installed in the Chillicothe Baking Company in Chillicothe, Missouri. Their first loaf of sliced bread was sold on July 7, 1928! Other bakeries soon bought the machine, making sliced bread available across the country, and well ,the rest as they say is history!!
Initially, Rodwedder studied optometry and graduated from the Northern Illinois College of Ophthalmology and Otology in Chicago in 1900 with a degree in optics. He became a jeweler and owned three jewelry stores in St. Joseph, MI. But as he worked on watches and jewelry, he also thought about new machines. When he became convinced that he could develop a bread slicing machine, he sold his jewelry stores to follow that dream. However, the realization of that dream was delayed for several years.In 1917, a fire broke out at the factory where Rohwedder was manufacturing his machine, resulting in the destruction of his prototype and blueprints.
After the success of his first machine one of the first companies to sell sliced bread was the Continental Baking Company. They introduced Wonder Bread in 1930. Sales of sliced bread went up, as did the sale of automatic toasters. Toasters were invented by Charles Strite in 1926 The end result was that in 1933 American bakeries for the first time produced more sliced than unsliced bread loaves!! Thank You, Otto Rohwedder!
Links for Further Exploration of Otto Rohwedder
Now there are certain words and phrases that cause the Jukebox in my Head to pull up a song and Jeweler is one of those words. Here is one of my all-time favorite songs “The Jeweler” from Pearls Before Swine!