Cultures have been making celebratory cakes and breads (the terms were often interchangeable) for thousands of years. However, in most cases, these cakes were used to celebrate weddings. Birthday cakes are thought to have originated in Germany in the 1400s. Soon after their introduction, many bakeries began to market cakes for birthday celebrations as well as weddings. Up until the Industrial Revolution, only the wealthiest citizens were able to afford birthday cakes. However, the Industrial Revolution made birthday cakes (and many other goods) cheaper and easier to produce, which allowed the general public to purchase them for the first time. Today, birthday cakes have become a traditional part of birthday celebrations in most parts of the world and are generally available at grocery stores, bakeries, and specialty shops.