Food - Overview
Part of a nation's history lies in what people eat. Artifacts at the Museum document the history of food in the United States from farm machinery to diet fads.
More than 1,300 pieces of stoneware and earthenware show how Americans have stored, prepared, and served food for centuries. Ovens, cookie cutters, kettles, aprons, and ice-cream-making machines are part of the collections, along with home canning jars and winemaking equipment. More than 1,000 objects recently came to the Museum when author and cooking show host Julia Child donated her entire kitchen, from appliances to cookbooks.
Advertising and business records of several food companies—such as Hills Brothers Coffee, Pepsi Cola, and Campbell's Soup—represent the commercial side of the subject
"Food - Overview" showing 1 items.
- This commercial bread-slicing machine was designed and manufactured in 1928 by Otto Frederick Rohwedder (1880-1960). It was used to slice loaves of fresh bakery bread at Korn's Bakery, in Rohwedder's home town of Davenport, Iowa, beginning in late 1928. This is Rohwedder's second automatic bread-slicer, the first having fallen apart after about six months of heavy use at Bench's Bakery, in Chillicothe, Missouri.
- The public loved the convenience of sliced bread and, by 1929, Rohwedder's Mac-Roh Company was feverishly meeting the demand for bread-slicing machines. By the following year, the Continental Baking Company was selling sliced bread under the Wonder Bread label. Having achieved success, Mr. Rohwedder reflected on his invention in the June 1930 issue of the Atlanta-based bakery trade journal, New South Baker: "I have seen enough bakers benefit in a big way from Sliced Bread to know that the same results can be obtained by any baker anywhere if he goes about the matter correctly. A good loaf, a proper presentation of Sliced Bread to the grocers and a truthful, clean advertising program based upon successful experiences and the baker can build his business far beyond what he could do without Sliced Bread. . . We are continuing our experimental and developmental work confident in the belief that the real possibilities of Sliced Bread have scarcely been scratched."
- This 1928 bread-slicing machine was manufactured by the Micro Machine Company, of Bettendorf, Iowa, for the Davenport-based Mac-Roh Sales and Manufacturing Company. It was donated to the Museum by Mr. Rohwedder's daughter, Mrs. Margaret R. Steinhauer, of Albion, Michigan, in 1974.
- Currently not on view
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- Micro Machine Company
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- National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center