[Ads-l] "the greatest thing to happen to TV since sliced bread"

Peter Reitan pjreitan at HOTMAIL.COM
Tue May 22 13:35:34 EDT 2018

And in a related vein, I also looked at the origins of "Wonder Bread" and its balloon logo (1921).  Wonder Bread was originally unsliced, and they did not invent sliced bread - they started selling it a year or two after it was first introduced.

Corporately unrelated versions "Wonder Flour" go back to at least 1894, and advertisements for various unrelated "Wonder Breads" to 1895.

The balloon logo was used on the original "Wonder Bread" in 1921.  The balloons were likely inspired by the International Balloon Race.  The International Balloon Race of 1909 was the first race held at the Indianapolis Speedway.  The race started on June 5 and the first automobile test runs on the racetrack took place on June 6.

The International Balloon race was scheduled to take place in Indianapolis again in 1920 shortly before Wonder Bread was introduced, which may be why they settled on the design.  But due to problems with the gas supply, the 1920 races were moved to Alabama.  They did not return to Indianapolis again until 1923.


From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM>
Sent: Tuesday, May 22, 2018 8:19 AM
Subject: Re: "the greatest thing to happen to TV since sliced bread"

---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
Poster:       ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM>
Subject:      Re: "the greatest thing to happen to TV since sliced bread"

There was a mailing list discussion in May 2017 about "greatest thing
since sliced bread".

Peter Reitan created an entry on this topic that includes earlier
examples of "best thing since" advertising, e.g., "the best thing
since the jointed fishing rod" (1895).

Barry Popik also has an entry which I linked in the previous mailing
list thread.


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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