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Random Did You Know Facts


Mar 28, 2008

Chewing Gum

Did you know...
Wrigley's was NOT the first manufacture of chewing gum.
People have enjoyed chewing gum-like substances in many lands and for many, many years. Some of the things they chewed were thickened resin and latex from certain kinds of trees. Others were from various sweet grasses, leaves, grains and waxes.

Lumps of spruce gum were sold in the eastern United States during the early 1800s, making it the first commercial chewing gum in this country. Sometime in 1850, sweetened paraffin wax became popular and eventually exceeded spruce gum in popularity. But that was soon replaced by chicle, the natural gum from the tropical evergreen tree, Manilkara chicle, native to southern North America and South America.
Chicle was used to make the first flavored chewing gum.

In 1850 Mexican General Santa Anna introduces chicle to Thomas Adams, who began to experiment with it as a substitute for rubber. Adams tried to make toys, masks, and rain boots out of the chicle, but every experiment failed. Despite the failures Adams continued to look for a way this chicle could be used. One day he popped a chunk in his mouth and found it to be very satisfying and pliable, but not very flavorful.

In 1870 Adams and his sons opened the first chewing gum factory making Adams New York No. 1.
In 1871 Adams created a licorice-flavored gum called Black Jack. This was the first flavored gum. But the flavor did not last long. On February 14, 1871 Adams was issued the patent on his chewing gum.

In 1880 a man named William White experimented with flavors after receiving a shipment of chicle. He solved the problem by adding sugar and corn syrup to the mix. The first flavor he used was peppermint and it stayed in the gum during chewing.

Adans Gum company is now part of Cadbury-Adams Company.


Monique said...

Black Jack gum doesn't sound very appealing.

Actually now that I think about it, neither does Wrigley's.

st_hart said...

it's a great blog! i have to return to find out what i haven't know :)