2014 49¢ Breads
The World Debut Of “The Greatest Thing” –
Bread is one of the world’s oldest prepared foods, made and consumed around the globe for thousands of years. But why wasn’t it sold pre-sliced until 1928? In part, being sliced leads the bread to go stale faster, so inventors sought to create a machine that would both slice and wrap.
Missouri jeweler Otto Frederick Rohwedder invented the first successful bread slicer and wrapper in 1912, but it was destroyed in a fire. Fifteen years later he tweaked and patented his design, but it fell short. Though the bread was sliced, it wasn’t sliced neatly, and loaves didn’t sell. Gustav Papendick later bought the machine and perfected it, slicing the loaves more cleanly and wrapping them in wax paper.
Then on July 7, 1928, Chilicothe Baking Company in Missouri became the first bread company to try this new machine and sell pre-sliced loaves of bread. Other bread companies were slow to follow. Many didn’t think it was worth it to buy new machines to do something people had always done at home. Two years later, national bread chain Wonder made sliced bread a necessity and it has been ever since (with the exception of World War II when it was banned briefly to save food and metal for the war effort). The popularity of sliced bread also increased the need and production for spreads such as butter, jams, and jellies.
This stamp was one of four issued to celebrate America’s farmers markets that sell fresh, local produce. The First Day of Issue took place during National Farmers Market Week.
The earliest farmers’ markets are said to have existed in Egypt over 5,000 years ago. Farmers along the Nile River would bring fresh goods to sell at one collective location. The idea persisted throughout history and spread across the globe. In the United States, informal farmers’ markets were likely present as early as the Jamestown Settlement.
Modern markets, with rows of tents or booths set up for each vendor, emerged in the early 19th century. At that time, municipally owned markets, known as public markets, were a central point of food distribution and local commerce. But as the population began to move to more suburban areas in the 20th century, supermarkets replaced the public markets. The government-run farmers’ markets could not compete with private enterprise.
By the 1960s and 70s, growing concern over the use of pesticides and preservatives in food sparked a renewed interest in farmers’ markets. Consumer focus shifted toward organic agriculture and alternatives to the industrial food system. Since then, the number of farmers’ markets has steadily grown nationwide.
From the open-air markets in city centers to the year-round market halls, the so-called “farm to table” movement continues to promote farmers’ markets.
The Farmers Market stamps were illustrated by Robin Moline. After trying a number of designs that conveyed the atmosphere of a farmers market, the artist decided to concentrate on the products being sold while giving the feel of a wooden market stall.
49¢ Farmers Market, issued to satisfy the first-class mail rate
Issue Date: August 7, 2014, National Farmers Market Week
City: Washington, DC
Quantity: 25 million stamps
Printed By: Aston Potter USA Ltd.
Printing Method: Lithographed in sheets of 100 with five panes of 20 per sheet
Perforations: Serpentine Die Cut 10 ¾