Here’s Who Invented Sliced Bread

Sliced bread is a wonderful invention. In fact, sliced bread is the greatest thing since…itself! It seems like it’s been here forever. We have air, water, and sliced bread. But there was a time when sliced bread was but a dream. So, who invented sliced bread? When was sliced bread invented? How many slices of bread are in a loaf? Let’s learn all about the invention of sliced bread and the bread slicer inventor!

Who invented sliced bread?

Back in the dark period before sliced bread, folks would pass a big old hunk of bread around the table and rip pieces off. That’s how we got the term “breaking bread.” If you wanted a sandwich or some toast, you’d have to take your bread knife and individually slice your bread. But all that changed when a man named Otto Frederick invented machine sliced bread. Otto Frederick was born in Iowa and lived in Missouri. Before he was a bread slicer inventor, he was an ophthalmologist and jeweler. 

When was sliced bread invented?

The first loaf of pre-cut, machine sliced bread was sold in 1928. But Otto Frederick’s invention might have come over a decade earlier if not for an unfortunate fire. The first bread slicer machine prototype and its blueprints were destroyed in a fire in 1917. Frederick had to spend the next several years rebuilding his invention. 

At first, sliced bread was not popular at all. People assumed that those individual slices would go stale faster than a whole, uncut loaf. By the early 1930s, however, commercially made, pre sliced bread began to dominate American homes as small, local bakeries suffered. When World War II began, though, the U.S. government banned factory sliced bread so it could allocate more resources to the war effort. The American public had already grown accustomed to their ready-to-use sandwich slices and treated the ban as a national crisis. The outcry was so great that the ban was lifted only two months after it went into effect.

How many slices are in a loaf of bread?

Now we know where sliced bread comes from and when it was invented, let’s get down to the actual bread itself. How many slices are in that loaf of pre cut bread? Well, that depends on what brand you’re buying. Bread slicer inventor Frederick put a lot of research into determining the ideal thickness of a slice and came up with slightly under half an inch. Most pre-sliced bread maintains that thickness, but the length of the loaf varies resulting in a different number of slices. Generally, there are somewhere between 18 and 24 slices of bread in a loaf. Personally, I don’t even count those end slices as slices. Who eats those things? I guess ducks like them. If anyone reading this is a duck and got offended by that, I apologize.

About the Author

Will Morgan

Will Morgan, a freelance contributor to Sporked, is an L.A. based writer, actor, and sketch comedy guy. Originally from Houston, TX, he strongly believes in the superiority of breakfast tacos to breakfast burritos. Will traveled the world as one of those people that did yoyo shows at elementary school assemblies, always making a point to find local and regional foods to explore in whatever place he was, even in rinky-dink towns like Tilsonberg, ON. Will spends his birthdays at Benihana’s. Let him know if can make it.

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