Avoiding any “best thing since…” jokes will be hard on this, the 80th anniversary of the invention of the bread slicer. One of the most significant advances in the development of the sandwich, Otto Rohwedder’s historic creation followed on the heels (sorry) of the pop-up toaster, which debuted in 1926.
Rohwedder deserves accolades not just for inventing a really useful thing, but for his apparently tireless pursuit of lunchtime convenience. Even after a fire destroyed his original blueprints, he did not loaf, but persevered and finally came out with an improved model that wrapped what it sliced.
By making possible such sandwiches as the club, the grilled cheese and the tuna melt, Rohwedder definitely sealed his place among the upper crust of American inventors. A toast is definitely in order!
[Photo: Black forest rye bread via Dan4th/flickr]