This Famous Food Invention Was Created In Eastern Iowa
We know taco pizza was born in the QC but so was a useful food invention that you've probably used before.
A new study by WalletHub found Iowa to be the 9th least innovative state. To come to that conclusion, it looked at the share of STEM professionals, the projected STEM job demand by 2030, 8th-grade math and science performance, the share of science and engineering grads over 25, the share of technology companies, R&D spending per capita, and venture-capital funding per capita.
I have to disagree with this, especially because of one invention that came out of the QCA.
The Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread
We've often heard and used the phrase "the greatest thing since sliced bread". It's actually literal though for one Davenport native back in 1927.
Otto Rohwedder, who was born in Davenport in 1880, is credited with inventing an automatic machine that not only sliced bread but also wrapped it. Otto created the machine in 1927 and had it patented in 1932, according to the U.S. Patent and Trademark and Google Patents. This was a very well-timed invention since, according to MIT, it was around the time that toasters were gaining popularity in America. Otto sold his first bread-slicing machine to Chillicothe Baking Co., which sold Kleen Maid Sliced Bread, in 1928.
Rohwedder would go on to sell the patent rights to the Micro-Westco Co. of Bettendorf, where he would go on to become Vice-President and Sales Manager.
Bettendorf Brothers Get In On The Sliced Bread
But Rohwedder joining the Bettendorf company isn't where the lineage of sliced bread stops in the QC. The Davenport Library says that William E. Bettendorf, who is one of the brothers that Bettendorf was named after, created his own bread slicer that was different from Rohwedder's. Bettendorf's invention cut wavy slices. Here's the patent for it:
But Otto Is The Father Of Sliced Bread
Rohwedder is still known as the "father of sliced bread". He retired from Micro-Westco Co. at age 71. Otto and his wife, Carrie, moved to Albion, Michigan after his retirement. Rohwedder died in Concord, Michigan, on November 8th, 1960, and is buried in Albion.
I think that shows some pretty savvy ingenuity straight from Iowa. Thank you to Otto Rohwedder for giving us the greatest invention since... well, sliced bread.