Around 1928, a Missouri jeweler named Otto F. Rohwedder invented the automatic bread slicer and became the darling of American kitchens. Bakeries began to advertise the pre-sliced bread as "the biggest advance in the bakery industry since the bread was wrapped," prompting the Americans to coin this immortal phrase, "The Biggest Since Bread Cutting."
I would not stop the government from banning it later.
From 18 January 1943 – in the middle of World War II – sliced bread was excluded from American bakeries and houses. The new baking regulations of the Price Administration Bureau had raised the flour prices and the government wanted to prevent these costs being passed on to the consumer. By banning the use of expensive bread slicing machines, the government hoped that bakeries could keep their prices low. Officials were also concerned about supplying the country with wax paper ̵
The decision was extremely unpopular. On January 26, Sue Forrester of Fairfield, Connecticut, wrote a letter to the editor of the New York Times who complained on behalf of the country's housewives. "I would like to let you know how important sliced bread is to the morale and health of a household," Forrester wrote, saying that she was forced to cut more than 30 slices of bread a day for her family by hand. It was a waste of American time and energy, she argued. It was also a waste of money: a good bread knife was hard to find, let alone afford, during the war.
The rule was so unfortunate that no one in the government apparently wanted to confess the idea. The ban was ordered by grocer Claude R. Wickard, but the Price Administration Office made the idea of the agricultural department responsible for the baking industry.
"The ban on sliced bread" again and again "Today there are all signs of a bureaucratic thriller," reported Belvidere Daily Republican (Illinois ). "The mystery of" Whodunnit "is first and foremost only the confusion in high places and pointing fingers to the nearest or any nearby distance surprised. "
The rule has apparently also surprised everyone. (Or as the Daily Republican put it:" The leaders [B] Chicago Tribune "[T]" The government ban on selling sliced bread that took effect yesterday surprised hundreds of Chicago housewives and sent them They hurry into hardware stores to plunder the used supplies of bread knives. "Railway dining cars, which had been given a preparation time of 60 days. Non-compliant bakers who continue to use their bread slicers have been faced with heavy fines. New York City Food Supervisor John F. Conaboy warned the bakeries of the government's willingness to "take tough action if necessary".
But even the greatest advocates of the law did not seem to back it up. Emil Fink, a well-known baker and member of the New York Bakers Advisory Committee, was heavily in favor of the breadmaking ban. But a year later, Fink was in court – for cutting bread. According to The New York Times a US lawyer chastised the bakery owner: "[Fink] called on the government to rigorously enforce the ordinance, and at that point its bakery violated the law." Fink was fined $ 1,000.
According to a February 1943 report in Harrisburg Telegraph the ban did not even save money – in fact, the bakers in the area actually broke by 5 to 10 per cent. "While all bakers have different reasons for the prevailing decline, everyone agrees that the absence of sliced bread plays at least one role in the waste," the newspaper said.
Not only that the rule saved no money, not even so much wax paper. On March 8, 1943, the ban was lifted, which sparked jubilant headlines across the country. As the New York Times trumpets: "Sliced bread offered for sale; housewives thumbs sure again."