Thursday, May 10, 2012

Bread in a wrapper

M&S Co-Op Loaf 1929

Here we have the M&SE promoting their bread. I like the use of the word propaganda. This is 1929 and before the word became tainted by political and military conflicts of the dictatorships of Europe. But a cart clopping down the street with a pretend extra large loaf is hardly the dark forces of propaganda.

The term wrapped bread is stressed to promote the hygienic production and handling. This was a fairly new way of retailing by putting loaves in grease proof paper. The days of the unwrapped bread would be seen as old fashioned. Though people apparently survived for centuries and centuries by buying loaves not in paper.

However there was a further development just on the horizon. Sliced bread! Invented in the USA and the date usually quoted is 1928. The slicing machines had been developed a lot earlier it was holding the slices together in suitable packaging that was needed.

One of the pioneers in marketing sliced bread in Britain was R.Sharrock & Sons here in Manchester. They had bakeries, or scientific plants as they called them, in Chorlton-on-Medlock and they introduced the "Tip Top" loaf. You got 22 even slices in a 2lb  loaf.  Their display adverts gave instructions. "The Tip Top wrapper opens at the end, the loaf is boxed in a tray, which has been hygienically treated. The tray slides out and you simply take the number of slices required - push the tray back and tuck in the ends." All this for 4½d. The rest you's the best thing since sliced bread.

Credits : M&SE Herald 1929. Display advert Manchester Guardian 29th April 1930

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