Happy birthday, Sliced Bread!

Today — July 7, 2008 — marks the 80th anniversary of sliced bread.

However, the anniversary of its natal day would have likely gone unnoticed had it not been for a series of coincidental events beginning with a newspaper assignment in 2001 and ending with an interview in 2003 of the man whose father invented the bread slicing machine.


Happy birthday, Sliced Bread!
Today — July 7, 2008 — marks the 80th anniversary of sliced bread.
However, the anniversary of its natal day would have likely gone unnoticed had it not been for a series of coincidental events beginning with a newspaper assignment in 2001 and ending with an interview in 2003 of the man whose father invented the bread slicing machine.

Richard Otto Rohwedder unlocked the door to Chillicothe’s slice of world history in 2003 when at the age of 88 he traveled from his home in Arkansas to Chillicothe to share his story with the Constitution-Tribune. In his possession was a scrapbook belonging to his father, Otto Rohwedder, which documented the story of sliced bread and how his father had invented the world’s first bread slicing machine and how it was first put to use by Frank Bench at Chillicothe Baking Company on July 7, 1928.
Since 2003, Chillicothe has become known as “the home of sliced bread” and the city of Chillicothe has even adopted it as its official slogan.

The story began to develop in 2001 when Constitution-Tribune News Editor Catherine Stortz Ripley was doing research on microfilm for a history book and stumbled across an article printed on July 6, 1928, stating that Chillicothe Baking Company, the next day, would become the first place in the world to sell sliced bread. Then, in July 2003, the Kansas City Star published a front page article about Chillicothe’s claim and the story went international on the Knight Ridder News Service.

With this exposure, Ripley learned about Richard Rohwedder through the efforts of Robert Ludlow, founder of Bedford Industries, in Worthington, Minn. Ludlow had seen the article online and was reminded of Rohwedder, who had once worked for Bedford Industries, the world’s largest manufacturer of twist ties. Ripley immediately contacted Rohwedder who, within a few days, made arrangements to come to Chillicothe and share his story.......