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Author Topic: Sliced Bread Not Steampunk?  (Read 2526 times)
RJBowman
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« on: April 07, 2016, 01:39:34 am »

I was slicing off a piece of high-quality bread from a Greek bakery in Detroit, and was inspired to look up the date when sliced bread was first sold.

I was shocked to learn that it was not until 1928:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sliced_bread

That's a decade or two later than I would have expected. It's not a complicated machine; storefront bakeries have them, and most larger supermarkets have them. It seems like a machine that could have been invented in the 19th century, shortly after the AC motor was invented. In a large commercial bakery, it could have been connected by belt drive to the central steam engine.

Now to me, the late 1920s, with radio and talking films and the ubiquity of the automobile, is a cutoff point for most things that influence steampunk. So when you are preparing your snack table for your steampunk night, remember to pick up some unsliced bread.
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Atterton
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« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2016, 05:10:49 pm »

The sliced bread sold in shops is surely cut with much bigger machines, as the idea is to make one very long bread that you can sell in smaller slices. Not the small rotary saw thing you got at home. Also sliced bread is usually crappy, foam bread.
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« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2016, 06:26:08 pm »

The loaf cutters they have at stores are scary. Its a giant mass or serrated blades vibrating up and down. Cut deep into a finger by accident once when touched tip of a blade that wasnt even running. They scary sharp
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von Corax
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« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2016, 03:31:13 am »

Also sliced bread is usually crappy, foam bread.
In Newfoundland they refer to it as "baker's fog."
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Colonel Hawthorne
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« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2016, 06:57:56 am »

Steampunk: the best thing until sliced bread?
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« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2016, 09:13:03 am »

Surely the Victorians had bread slicers, they were just called The Staff.

Or The Help if you were middle class (non U).
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Clym Angus
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« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2016, 12:03:29 pm »

Sorry, I'm calling the "Punk Veto" on this one.
If I try and slice my own bread I'll take my fingers off.
Automatic bread slicers could have been invented last week by a man called Dave for all I care. I'm keeping it.
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Atterton
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« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2016, 04:16:55 pm »

I'm sure you can modify it into a steam-driven bread slicer.
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Steam Titan
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« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2016, 10:08:13 pm »

I'm sure you can modify it into a steam-driven bread slicer.

whirling mass of spinning blades and death with thick black smoke pumping out. Truly what every bakery should have in it
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RJBowman
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« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2016, 10:33:09 pm »

...and here is the future:

Baguette Cutting by Ultrasonic Knife
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Colonel Hawthorne
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« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2016, 08:26:10 am »

You really don't want to hit your fingers with that thing!  The screams would be, well, ultrasonic.
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Will Howard
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« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2016, 03:35:45 pm »

If machine sliced bread was introduced in 1928, it didn't last long, as it was discontinued during the Second World War (the steel used for the replacement blades was prioritized for war production).  It was reintroduced after the war, & that is probably when the line, "Greatest thing since sliced bread" became common.

So, hand sliced bread= steampunk; machine sliced bread- not steampunk.
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von Corax
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« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2016, 05:38:07 pm »

So, hand sliced bread= steampunk; machine sliced bread- not steampunk.

Bread sliced by a mechanical hand — supremely Steampunk.
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Atterton
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« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2016, 06:27:41 pm »

There was a Wallace & Gromit movie where they ran a bakery. I bet it had some overengineered bread slicer in it.
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RJBowman
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« Reply #14 on: April 10, 2016, 07:50:03 pm »

If machine sliced bread was introduced in 1928, it didn't last long, as it was discontinued during the Second World War (the steel used for the replacement blades was prioritized for war production).  It was reintroduced after the war, & that is probably when the line, "Greatest thing since sliced bread" became common.

So, hand sliced bread= steampunk; machine sliced bread- not steampunk.

Wikepedia claims that sliced bread was discontinued briefly under orders from the war department to save on packaging, but the pulic outcry was so great that it was reinstated after about a month, with the war department claiming that they had re-examined the numbers and found that the necessary waxed paper was available after all. I have always believed that most of the wartime shortages were bullshit.
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river rat
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« Reply #15 on: April 13, 2016, 02:10:49 am »

So if my understanding of steampunk is correct. It means using 1800's technology to achieve anything. So is sliced bread steampunk? Well of all the silly questions. Just wind up your automaton and have it slice your bread to any thickness you desire.  Grin
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Caledonian
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« Reply #16 on: April 15, 2016, 11:06:42 am »

How are steam powered bread slicers not a good idea? That sounds like something awesome.
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« Reply #17 on: April 16, 2016, 09:10:33 am »

How are steam powered bread slicers not a good idea? That sounds like something awesome.


I imagine this would be not unlike the v-8 powered blender contraption that Top Gear unleashed upon the world some years ago.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDlMLqdvHzI
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« Reply #18 on: April 17, 2016, 08:34:42 am »

Well, sliced bread may not be Victorian, but as we have stated many a time, we are not Victorian re-enactors. Just figure out the logical need for pre-sliced bread in your alternate timeline. Why was sliced bread not considered necessary? What created the need for it? Or is it just an idea out of the blue?
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Will Howard
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« Reply #19 on: April 17, 2016, 03:04:56 pm »

Well, sliced bread may not be Victorian, but as we have stated many a time, we are not Victorian re-enactors. Just figure out the logical need for pre-sliced bread in your alternate timeline. Why was sliced bread not considered necessary? What created the need for it? Or is it just an idea out of the blue?

Possibly the early versions of "fast food" inspired it- uniform slices of bread to make sandwiches or toast quickly.  And yes, I'll modify my previous statement- sliced bread is not "steampunk" by Victorian standards.  BUT we are not Victorians, & if we can accept airships, what's wrong with a mechanical kitchen aid (steam powered to keep Caledonian happy) to slice our bread, either at home or at the bakery?
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Caledonian
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« Reply #20 on: April 17, 2016, 04:56:49 pm »

Well, sliced bread may not be Victorian, but as we have stated many a time, we are not Victorian re-enactors. Just figure out the logical need for pre-sliced bread in your alternate timeline. Why was sliced bread not considered necessary? What created the need for it? Or is it just an idea out of the blue?

Possibly the early versions of "fast food" inspired it- uniform slices of bread to make sandwiches or toast quickly.  And yes, I'll modify my previous statement- sliced bread is not "steampunk" by Victorian standards.  BUT we are not Victorians, & if we can accept airships, what's wrong with a mechanical kitchen aid (steam powered to keep Caledonian happy) to slice our bread, either at home or at the bakery?
Yay I'm being kept happy! Wind up sounds awesome too, though
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Maets
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« Reply #21 on: April 17, 2016, 05:22:42 pm »

And of course, Steampunk is the greatest thing since sliced bread!
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Atterton
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« Reply #22 on: April 17, 2016, 05:28:29 pm »

I've got servants for that sort of thing.
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Caledonian
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« Reply #23 on: April 17, 2016, 05:33:09 pm »

I've got servants for that sort of thing.

Aaaah you're one of those bastards
*looks in a mirror*
Wait, i'm probably too
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Will Howard
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« Reply #24 on: April 18, 2016, 10:51:43 pm »

Well, sliced bread may not be Victorian, but as we have stated many a time, we are not Victorian re-enactors. Just figure out the logical need for pre-sliced bread in your alternate timeline. Why was sliced bread not considered necessary? What created the need for it? Or is it just an idea out of the blue?

Possibly the early versions of "fast food" inspired it- uniform slices of bread to make sandwiches or toast quickly.  And yes, I'll modify my previous statement- sliced bread is not "steampunk" by Victorian standards.  BUT we are not Victorians, & if we can accept airships, what's wrong with a mechanical kitchen aid (steam powered to keep Caledonian happy) to slice our bread, either at home or at the bakery?
Yay I'm being kept happy! Wind up sounds awesome too, though

I like to keep young ladies happy- especially when they are attractive AND can bake!
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