From the U.S. Census Bureau

A century ago, bread bought at stores was hand-made, a time-and labor-intensive process.

That changed when an African-American baker from Boston, Joseph Lee, invented the automatic bread-making machine. This device mixed the ingredients and then kneaded the dough, dropping the cost of making bread while increasing production. Lee then developed a machine to eliminate the waste of unsold bread by recycling stale loaves into bread crumbs - a device that soon became popular in restaurants the world over.

Today in the U.S., the average African American spends 234-dollars a year on bakery products.

This profile is adapted from Profile America, a radio series produced by the U.S. Census Bureau in 2004.