I guess I should clarify that the BAGELS were "au naturelle" not the consumers! Reminds me of the then-current translation of MIT's Latin motto: "clean mind, clean body; take your pick!" (apologies to the great math professor Tom Lehrer who came up with it).
PS: we always ate ours "au naturelle" and uncut! Now, Sunday brunch was a different story.... a zillion varieties of smoked fish, cream cheese, onions, really good Jersey tomatoes (my grandfather was a produce wholesaler), herring, etc. Sorry, Max: no bacon!
I grew up in northern NJ in the late '40s and '50s. One of the first solid foods I learned to love was the bagel. In high school, my friends and I used to go to the Watson Bagel Bakery in Newark in the late evening (Watson was a 24/7 operation, a rarity in those days), pick up a dozen, and go to the end of the runway at Newark Airport and watch planes taking off and landing while munching on the delectable treasures. The entire group ended up in various parts of the electronics industry, mostly starting in Engineering. Thus I would argue that the bagel rightfully deserves to be named the official food of the entire industry, not just T&M! My only brush with T&M was a summer job after I graduated (before I went off to grad school) at the NJ division of HP (previously known as Harrison Labs). Here's a link to a fascinating tale of the Watson Bagel Bakeries and some bagel history: http://www.oldnewark.com/memories/weequahic/bodianbagel.htm
"Once you cut a bagel in half, it's no longer a bagel, just another piece of bread."
I thought Bagels were special because they were not just ordinary bread - the dough being boiled first? However I would agree with your sentiments. I don't cut my morning toast in half either, I like a full slice to grip onto.