Happy Birthday Sliced Bread
On July 7, 1928 Chillocothe, MO baker Frank Bench and inventor Otto Rohwedder secured Chillicothe Missouri’s slice of History. On this day their bread slicing machine produced the first loaves of sliced bread and made them available on the shelves of the Chillcothe grocery stores.
This machine instantly changed the way consumers bought bread and increased the bakery’s sales by 2000 percent in 2 weeks. Until this invention, which has long been synonymous with innovation, bread had to be sliced by hand in home kitchens.
At approximately five feet long and four feet high, the device was the invention of Iowa native Rohwedder. His machine was turned down by many bakers before being offered to Frank Bench. The original machine used at Chillcothe Baking Company eventually fell apart; however Rohwedder’s second machine is part of the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institute.
This building located at the corner of First and Elm Streets, is the original home of the bread slicing machine.