The Popcorn Stand: Today on this date, a slice of life

Today is a huge date in history. On this date, Chillicothe Baking Co. of Chillicothe, Mo., introduced the first packaged sliced bread in 1928. And on July 8, 1928 when someone reacted to something that was really cool, that person became the first one to utter the phrase, “this is the greatest thing since sliced bread.”

Actually, I don’t know if it happened that way. And I always remember what Rob Renaud, who used to work here at the Nevada Appeal, once told me, “What was the greatest thing since sliced bread before sliced bread?”

And those of you who choose to read this Popcorn Stand know I agree with George Carlin in thinking sliced bread isn’t all that great. “It’s bread and you slice it.”

Actually what made “sliced bread” so special was by 1928 society finally came up with a machine that could slice bread a loaf at a time. So come to think of it, that does sound pretty special.

And there’s no denying what a benefit packaged sliced bread has been to our society. Imagine all the picnics, all the lunches, all the delis, all the restaurants that have been made possible and easier by sliced bread. And all the mornings that have been made somewhat sane because of sliced bread.

There was actually a short-lived ban on sliced bread in 1943 during World War II, but a housewife who wrote a letter to the New York Times describing how difficult her mornings were without sliced bread actually helped put an end to that ban.

So maybe sliced bread is the greatest thing... What was the greatest thing since sliced bread before sliced bread again?

— Charles Whisnand


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment