“Best Thing Since Sliced Bread”

It is Sunday and I would like to drop some history on you as well as a bit of FYI……

First I would like to thank my blogging friend, Pete, for playing along with the photo quiz on yesterday’s post.

Now for the history….

I am old enough to remember that oleo had a color packet because it could not be yellow to confuse the consumer.

How many times have you heard something like that is the ‘best thing since sliced bread’?

Did you know that sliced bread was banned at one point in our history?

The year was 1943, and Americans were in crisis. Across the Atlantic, war with Germany was raging. On the home front, homemakers were facing a very different sort of challenge: a nationwide ban on sliced bread.

“To U.S. housewives it was almost as bad as gas rationing—and a whale of a lot more trouble,” announced Time magazine on February 1, 1943. The article goes on to describe women fumbling with their grandmothers’ antiquated serrated knives. “Then came grief, cussing, lopsided slices which even the toaster refused, often a mad dash to the corner bakery for rolls. But most housewives sawed, grimly on—this war was getting pretty awful.”

The ban on sliced bread was just one of many resource-conserving campaigns during World War II. In May 1942, Americans received their first ration booklets and, within the year, commodities ranging from rubber tires to sugar were in short supply. Housewives, many of whom were also holding down demanding jobs to keep the labor force from collapsing, had to get creative. When the government rationed nylon, women resorted to drawing faux-nylon stockings using eyebrow pencils and when sugar and butter became scarce, they baked “victory cakes” sweetened with boiled raisins or whatever else was available.

So by January 18, 1943, when Claude R. Wickard, the secretary of agriculture and head of the War Foods Administration, declared the selling of sliced bread illegal, patience was already running thin. Since sliced bread required thicker wrapping to stay fresh, Wickard reasoned that the move would save wax paper, not to mention tons of alloyed steel used to make bread-slicing machines.


The moral of this post is….never take anything for granted….it could change in the blink of an eye.

Enjoy your Sunday….be well and be safe….

“I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”


8 thoughts on ““Best Thing Since Sliced Bread”

  1. Do you mean the cashew photo? I thought it was a cashew nut, but had to look it up to make sure.
    I don’t buy sliced bread. I prefer a whole fresh loaf that I cut with a very sharp knife only ever used for bread cutting, and stored in its box to stop the edge being blunted by other knives in the drawer. And I would never use a serrated-edge knife to cut bread, as it tears the loaf. Place it on its side too. If you cut from the top, it squashes the slices. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

      1. I get a kick out of some of the newer breads that seem to turn into plastic in a toaster. They go into the toaster soft as silk and come out as pliable as plastic, requiring some effort to chew.

    1. Yes, slice my bread but do not slice my head. Since seeing some of the newer breads that seem to turn into a kind of plastic when subjected to the heat of a toaster, I am contemplating the purchase of a chain saw to slice it with.

  2. Our “Margarine” was pure white in color and looked like lard. It came with a coloring packet that was on the order of orange-red until it was mixed into the margarine and then the margarine turned the color of butter which was yellow. It was also unsalted and tasted more like lard than anything else. We didn’t worry about sliced bread because my mom and my baby sitters all baked biscuits or made pancakes. I remember making spam sandwiches using pancakes as the bread.

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