What Made Sliced Bread to Be Banned During WWII?

Julia | 24 - 12 - 2020

Do you know why sliced bread banned during WWII? As the flour prices were increased by the office of price administration, the government decided to ban the pre-sliced bread and the bread slicing machinery. Read on to discover the history of sliced bread and what made sliced bread illegal in the United States?

Bread, one of the most popular and oldest foods in the world. It is a staple food prepared by baking dough and water which is convenient, easy to prepare, cheap, and available everywhere. 

Otto Rohweder, a Missouri jeweler introduced the loaf of pre-sliced bread to Americans by inventing the automatic bread slicing machine in 1928. The sales went on board as it was cheap and readily available which saved the time of every person. 

When Was Sliced Bread Invented?
  • A. 1928
  • B. 1930
  • C. 1932
  • D. 1934

However on Jan 18, 1943, during world war Ⅱ, there was a problem with pre-sliced bread across the United States. Which made sliced bread to be banned from American bakeries and homes. New baking regulations were set by the office of price administration. A massive amount of resources were going into the war effort which made the government create an administration in charge of rationing food.

The expensive bread slicing machines were banned, by hoping that the bakeries could keep their prices low. Claude R. Wickard, the secretary of agriculture officially made an order to ban the pre-sliced bread on January 18, 1943. By banning the pre-sliced bread they thought it could conserve wax, paper, wheat, and steel. But unfortunately, it didn’t work out. 

According to the war food administration, to prevent spoilage pre-sliced bread used more wax papers than unsliced bread. But there was no shortage of wax papers as the companies stalked the wax papers for several months. And thus banning pre-sliced machines could save a lot of steel as the machinery was made of steel. Actually, the ban wasn’t even saving money but also it couldn’t save wax paper, flour, wheat, and steel. 

The ban has met a lot of pushback from the public side, which made the Americans get back their cherished sliced bread on March 8, 1943, that is within three months after the ban. 


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