HOW THE SON OF GERMAN IMMIGRANTS CHANGED THE WORLD BY INVENTING SLICED BREAD!
WHO INVENTED SLICED BREAD?
Otto Frederick Rohwedder is not near as famous as Thomas Edison or Benjamin Franklin but chances are his invention affects your life just about every day. You see, Otto Frederick Rohwedder is the guy who created the very first automatic bread slicing machine. It was so successful that Otto’s creation gave birth to the phrase, “It’s the greatest invention since sliced bread.”
MAJOR FIRE DELAYS THE GREATEST INVENTION
For at least 10,000 years humans have been consuming some form of bread, usually by ripping it off in chunks. In 1917, Otto decided there had to be a better way so the former jeweler began developing a machine that not only sliced bread but wrapped it as well. All was going to plan until a fire broke out at the factory where a prototype was being built. Flames not only destroyed the prototype but all the blueprints as well. Otto had sold his jewelry stores to fund his idea, but now everything was well…toast.
BREAD SALES SKYROCKETED
Fortunately, the son of German immigrants was as persistent as he was creative and refused to give up. It took him another decade, but Otto was finally ready to sell his funny looking contraption that could instantly slice a loaf of bread to symmetrical perfection. To say it was an overnight success would be an understatement. In fact, the first bakery he sold it to increased bread sales by more than 2,000 percent in just the first two weeks.
THE SMITHSONIAN SAVED THE SLICER
Otto went on to have seven patents having to do with bread slicing and handling. And what about his first bread-slicing machine? It’s on display at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C. Otto Rohwedder may not be a household name, but he’s a hero to bread lovers everywhere—no matter how you slice it.