Pasta is perhaps the most popular Italian dish originated in Sicily in the 12th century. For a long time it remained a food for the rich and privileged, and only in the 18th century, industrial production has turned the paste into the main cheap product for most Italians.
Mass immigration of Italians to America in the early 20th century helped pasta to gain huge popularity outside of Italy and become a national Italian dish.
However, until the late 1950s, many had no clue about how it is done, and even believed that pasta grows on trees.
These photos from 20th century pasta factories show the actual process by which the dough is squeezed, shaped, cut and dried on its way to the dinner table.