07 October 2013

The Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread

Although it is fading from usage these days, the phrase that something is "the greatest thing since sliced bread" is a fairly common idiom in America meaning something is a great new invention.

The actual sliced bread was sold first in 1928. Before that, most people baked their own bread, or bought from bakers in solid loaves.

Then along comes Otto Frederick Rohwedder, a jeweler from Davenport, Iowa, who had been working for years to perfect his bread slicer.

When he tried selling it to bakeries, they rejected it claiming that pre-sliced bread would get stale and dry before it could be eaten.

He tried some solutions like a crazy idea to keep slices together with hatpins and then hit upon wrapping the sliced bread in waxed paper.

He finally got a baker in Chillicothe, Missouri to try out the slicing and wrapping machine.They ran ads in the daily newspaper "Announcing: The Greatest Forward Step in the Baking Industry Since Bread was Wrapped — Sliced Kleen Maid Bread."

Sales were great. Customers loved the convenience and the consistently sized slices.

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