The Home of Sliced Bread Makes the Big Screen

Did you know … Chillicothe is known as the Home of Sliced Bread.

In 1928, the great brainpower of Otto Rohwedder and Frank Bench birthed sliced bread. Rohwedder invented the machine and Bench owned the Chillicothe Baking Company. It turned out to be a beautiful marriage of the minds, when Bench’s sales increased by 2,000 percent (no exaggeration). Their invention turned out to be the greatest thing since … well, sliced bread.

Did you know … Downtown Chillicothe has more than 20 larger-than-life murals.

Artist Kelly Poling created wonderful works of art that are scattered throughout the downtown area. Bringing art and history to life, these masterpieces are reason enough to visit Chillicothe. Take a sneak peek at the murals here.

Did you know … You can learn the story about the Home of Sliced Bread in the new PBS documentary “Slice of Life.”

Kelly Poling, artist; Amy Supple, Chillicothe CVB; Andrea Sporcic, Missouri Film Office;

Kelly Poling, mural artist; Amy Supple, Chillicothe CVB; Dave Burkhardt and Randy Mason, KCPT; Andrea Sporcic, Missouri Film Office; Ed Douglas, Chair of the Home of Sliced Bread Committee; Cathy Ripley, editor of the Chillicothe Constitution Tribune.

PBS recently finished a documentary on the Home of Sliced Bread focused around Chillicothe’s struggle and ultimate success in bringing home the original bread slicer invented by Otto Rohwedder. “Slice of Life” follows several locals who were instrumental in finding the machine and getting it back to Chillicothe on loan from the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C. You can now see the bread slicer on display at the Grand River Historical Museum. Since the machine is only on loan, be sure to make your trip soon.

In late November, locals and press came out for the premiere showing of the “Slice of Life” in Chillicothe. It was a gala affair, with everyone dressed to the nines.

Once everyone was seated, Ed Douglas, the chair of the Home of Sliced Bread Committee (known affectionately as “Sliced” Ed to locals), and Randy Mason, the producer of the documentary, gave a preview to the story that everyone was about to see. The lights went dim, and the crowd was whisked back in time to 1928, learning the story of Otto and Frank.

After the film, I couldn’t help but smile and feel pride for the people of Chillicothe. They have done what they set out to do; the bread-slicing machine is home and their efforts are forever documented.

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An elegant Great-Gatsby-themed reception, very fitting for the times the machine was invented, was held at the country club after the film. A beautiful spread of food, drink and wonderful desserts (including Missouri wine and loaves of bread) greeted guests. The mayor made a toast and cameras flashed in celebration of the home of sliced bread.

Check your local PBS station for the documentary in the coming months, it offers more compelling reasons for you to plan to visit historic Chillicothe.

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