Bread is not only a cultural asset of the highest order; it also serves as a fuel for technological progress – in more ways than one …
Man is more productive on a full stomach, stronger, clearer in thinking and more rational in action. When every brain cell is focused on hunger, there is no room for research and development. But, when there is an assurance of daily bread, the human spirit rises to new heights.
If this is not enough, there is a much more direct link between bread and technological development. In order to supply sufficient quantities of bread, bread production has always been tweaked to make it increasingly more efficient. For example, for a long period of time, flour mills were the spearhead of progress, as they could use the chronically scarce grain down to the last fibre. This is why mills were the first to use hydropower, long before sawmills, ventilators and power hammers; they were the first to use a conveyor belt system. So, in English, “the mill” came to mean not only the mill, but the factory itself.
In the 19th century, the first bread factories were established alongside the numerous artisanal bakeries in the big cities and, thanks to bread cars and billboards, well-known bread brands dominated the cityscape. The images of strong men, caring mothers and laughing children promised an ideal world, even in the anything but ideal interwar years. Even when the world sinks into chaos, bread feels like home.