The Globe and Mail's popular "Social Studies" column often reports interesting facts about famous inventors and inventions. Today's column include a few lines about the inventor of sliced bread, Otto Frederick Rohwedder of Davenport, Iowa. Until the late 1920s, virtually all bread was sold in loaves and sliced by hand. Rohwedder's machine rapidly and economically produced symmetrical slices. (US1867377, US1700854, etc.)According to the European Patent Office's esp@cecet patent database, Rohwedder received at least 26 US and Canadian patents related to bread, including one for a bread display rack (US1591357).
I'm the librarian for research services in the Engineering and Science Library at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. I've been working with patent information since 1991, including seven years at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. I believe that the dissemination of patent information is a public good and should be promoted, especially in the education of science and engineering students.