Today’s Missouri roadside attraction is the greatest thing since sliced bread! Actually…it is sliced bread! Chillicothe, Missouri is the “Home of Sliced Bread.” It’s the town where the one intention every other invention has to live up to was first sold.
The Rohwedder Bread Slicer was first put into use there by the Chillicothe Baking Company in 1928. Before that all bread was…gasp…cut by hand! Can you imagine?
Here’s what the Chillicothe Sliced Bread plaque says:
On July 7, 1982, Chillocothe baker Frank Bench and inventor Otto Rohwedder secured Chillicothe Missouri’s Slice of History. On this day their bread slicing machine produced the first loaves of sliced bread and made them available on the shelves of Chillicothe grocery stores.
The machine instantly changed the way consumers bought bread and increased the bakery’s sales by 2000 percent in 2 weeks. Until this invention, which has long ben synonymous with innovation, bread had to be sliced by hand in home kitchens.
At approximately five feet long and four feet high, the device was the invention of Iowa native O.F. Rohwedder. His machine was turned down by many bakers before being offered to Frank Bench. The original machine used at Chillicothe Baking Company eventually fell apart; however Rohwedder’s second machine is part of the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institute.
This building, located at the corner of First and Elm Streets, is the original home of the bread slicing machine.
Original Site of The Frank Bench Bakery
Home of Sliced Bread
July 7, 1928
A plaque commemorating Chillicothe, Missouri as the home of sliced bread
Location: 1st St & Asher St in Chillicothe, Missouri
Hours: Always Visible
Cost: Free to See