Profile America: 90 Years Since Sliced Bread

Saturday, July 7th. When something is proclaimed the best thing since sliced bread, that praise doesn’t suggest as great a span of time as one might think. Sliced bread, wrapped for sale in wax paper, first appeared on store shelves on this date 90 years ago in Chillicothe, Missouri. The Chillicothe Baking Company’s 1928 innovation of uniform, pre-sliced bread loaves remained local for a short while.

By the 1930s, the obvious convenience of satisfactory sliced bread spread the practice nationally. In large part, this was due to the Wonder Bread brand, founded in 1921, adopting the automatic slicer.

There are some 2,900 commercial bakeries across the United States, employing over 100,000 workers. These establishments make a lot of dough: about $32 billion per year.

Profile America is in its 22nd year as a public service of the U.S. Census Bureau.

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