Social Question

ETpro's avatar

What's so great about sliced bread?

Asked by ETpro (34550points) March 13th, 2011

Great inventions are often called the greatest thing since sliced bread. Now sliced bread is certainly convenient. But with all due respect to Otto Frederick Rohwedder of Davenport, Iowa, who invented the loaf-at-a-time slicing machine in 1912; slicing artisan bread with a decent knife really isn’t all that difficult to do. So why sliced bread as the paragon of inventiveness. Why not the wheel, or the lever, or movable type, or penicillin? Surely there are greater inventions than bread you don’t need to use a knife to slice.

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18 Answers

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

Ok, first, it’s terribly hard if you have no clean, clear counter room and only dirty knives. Elitists…;)

Humans are really creatures of convenience. There is a reason we’d all pay more for a cure for the common cold than a cure for AIDS.

BarnacleBill's avatar

I would think that bread slicing machines enabled the transition from home-baked bread to mass produced bread, and the ability for restaurants to add sandwiches to a menu by enabling portion control.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@BarnacleBill Wow, that was so much better than my answer. It was all… thoughtful and stuff…

JilltheTooth's avatar

I’m guessing the Bass-o-matic would be a better invention to reference. Please tell me I’m not the only one who remembers that…

KateTheGreat's avatar

I’m pretty sure that they just use “sliced bread” in this reference to make it quirkier. There are thousands of inventions that are better than sliced bread. It’s just an exaggeration :)

Berserker's avatar

I think that saying is merely phrased that way to easily simplify the matter of convenience that it wants to encompass, rather than saying that sliced bread is the best thing ever. Agreed though, using the example of the wheel would most likely hit the mark just as this does.

john65pennington's avatar

So, my great, great uncle supposedly invented the very first flying machine, way before the Wright Brothers flew it. My g,g, uncle sold the plans to the Wright Brothers and they received all the glory.

Point here is ever inventor has their spotlight of glory. Frankly, I am thankful this man invented a slicing machine to slice bread.

Have you ever attempted to slice a loaf of bread, hot from the oven? Its almost impossible.

WasCy's avatar

Have you ever attempted to slice a loaf of bread, hot from the oven? Its almost impossible.

Not only that, but the plastic wrap is all melted to it then, too.

2CDenzy's avatar

Well have you ever heard of minced bread?
juiced bread?
canned bread?
diced bread?
(God forbid just plain bread)
If so I would love to try some, excluding the juiced bread.

Kardamom's avatar

I think it transformed the home kitchen. In the days before bread slicers, mothers would most likely bake all of the family’s bread at home (which is very time consuming). When the bread slicer came along, most mothers stopped baking bread on a regular basis and started buying it from the supermarket. It’s just an early reference to a good product that was a time and labor saver for women in America. Just like the vacuum cleaner made it a little easier on moms by ending the need to roll up your rugs, drag them outside, hang them on the line and beat the dust out of them (heavy, time consuming work).

WasCy's avatar

Actually, @2CDenzy, B&M (who make the baked beans in the blue and red cans in the US) also make a canned “brown bread” that goes with them. It’s no great shakes as bread, but it is “canned bread”.

ETpro's avatar

@KatetheGreat I am sure you are right.

@Symbeline Let’s hear it for the wheel We wouldn’t have Ferrari Testa Rosas without that invention.

@john65pennington You should let it cool before slicing, but it smells SOOOOOO good hot out of the oven that it’s next to impossible to wait. It’s works than asking a junkie going into withdrawals to wait a while for a fix.

@2CDenzy Just plain bread—yes. I was slicing a loaf tonight and that’s what prompted this question.

@Kardamom Good point.

@WasCy Canned bread. No kidding?

Berserker's avatar

@ETpro Yeah, power to the wheel! Fucking sliced bread, it’s not even really an invention anyways. If I dismember someone, I mean, is that an invention? XD

ETpro's avatar

@Symbeline Right. We were slicing bread ever since we invented bread and knives. Rohwedder big breakthrough was providing it presliced in the bag.

Berserker's avatar

Yeah. Or creating the knife itself, for that matter.

ETpro's avatar

@WasCy I gotta get me some canned bread and come canned heat. A toast?

ucme's avatar

You can, if you’ve a mind, smear a slice or three in peanut butter & toss it frisbee style into the faces of unsuspecting strangers. i’m sure they’ll see the funny side :¬)

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