HAPPY BIRTHDAY

The Greatest Thing Since Before Sliced Bread

It's not a chicken-and-egg paradox: the toaster came before pre-sliced loaves, and it's turning 100 this year. Invented by General Electric technician Frank Shailor, the D-12 toaster, which had no covering and required users to turn the bread, sold a million units before the design crossed the Atlantic and took Britain by storm. Mechanic Charles Strite improved on Shailor's basic design by adding springs and a timer to create a pop up toaster in 1919, which went oh-so-well with the pre-sliced loaf that Otto Frederich Rohwedder introduced in 1929. In other words: toaster technology reached its height in the 1920s, and breakfast was forever changed.