Waxed bread wrappers had been used to ensure bread was kept hygienically. Bread was about the only food that, prior to eating, was not washed, peeled or cooked.
The first successful bread wrapping machine was introduced in America in 1913. But it was Otto Frederick Rohwedder’s invention of a bread slicing machine in 1928 that really ensured the need for wrappers.
Bread slicing machines came to Britain two years later and demand grew steadily for bread wrappers throughout the 1930s. With uniform and thinner slices, as well as greater use of electric toasters, people now ate more slices of bread at a time, and more frequently. This convenience increased consumption of spreads like jam as well as bread. Later, in the mid-1960s, the traditional waxed bread wrapper began to be replaced by plastic bags.