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The history of chewing gum

(This is sapodill !)


Some of the first substances used as chewing gums by early peoples were frankincense, mastic and the chicle of the sapodilla tree.
And combinations of the materials with other agents are still being used today in the production of chewing gums.
Frankincense, a gum resin according to the strictest definition, is probably the most well known tree resin.
Obtained from various species of the Bos- wellia tree (particularly Boswellia carteri, or ' Bird- wood), this is the incense that is mentioned so frequently in the Bible.
It was also used by the ancient Egyptians in their religious rites.
Nomads in Somaliland considered frankincense so Indispensable that they wore it in pouches, even in prehistoric times.
This pouch was almost an artificial organ; perhaps chewing this resin quenched their thirst and compensated for the scarcity of water in their dry land.
Unlike frankincense, the legendary mastic is a true resin that is still widely chewed today.
Columbus discovered Indians chewing mastic en the island of Santo Domingo.
Mastic resin is an exudation of the Pistacia lenticus tree.
People throughout South Eastern Europe and the Near East have used mastic; the great Greek physician and medical botanist Dios Corriedis of the first century A.D. referred to mastic in his book "De Materia Medica."
Today, one can still find a type of chewing gum Product made with mastic and beeswax, a softening agent, that is enjoyed by many Greeks and Middle Easterners.
The word "mastic" or "mastiche" (pronounced mas-tee-ka) is probably derived from the Greek "mastichon," which means "to chew," and it is also the root of the English word "masticate.
" This resin, as well as all of the other substances listed here (plus numerous others), could certainly be classified as being primitive forms of chewing gum, proving that the chewing gum habit is by no means the exclusive domain of Americans.
In the Western hemisphere, the first chewing gum can be traced back at least as far as the second can- tury A. D. Concrete proof of the use of gum has been brought to light during excavations of Mayan cities.
Although the Mayans were a highly advanced civilization, it is ironic that one of the few  conspicuous bits of evidence to indicate their advancement as a people lies in the discovery that the Mayans chewed gum.
Actually, they chewed the chicle of the Achras sapoto (sapodilla) tree, thus making this people one of the originators of modern gum chewing in the Americas.
As the Mayans' golden years drew to a close (around 800 A.D.), gum chewing 'was no longer a widespread practice.
Only a few Indian tribes had retained their secret of producing a chewable product from a very soft tree resin.
The first chewing gum to be produced on an industrial scale was made by John Curtis, a former sailor.
Curtis’ manufacturing plant grew so large that it was necessary for him to employ a work force of 200 people.
In the early 1900's, the company merged with the American Chicle Company.
A traditional recipe for spruce gum was as follows: Boil the resin in a big black kettle adding oleo as a softening agent as well as pitch and sap from other evergreens to increase the volume.
Boil the brew until it melts (at a temperature of 240"F).
Before the temperature starts to go down, the mass must be strained.
Pour it into a tub of ice water and strain it again.
Then pull the mixture over a hook by hand, similar to the way toffee is stretched.
The longer the gum is pulled the softer it gets.
Finally, let the gum harden, break it into pieces and roll it in starch-flour.
In later years, further pulling was attempted as a method of softening the gum, but this did not prove to be effective.
The chewability of spruce gum was not increased.
There were several reasons for the demise of spruce gum production.
One major factor was the introduction of the rotary printing press.
As newspapers gained in weight, publishers demanded more and more wood pulp to supply the need for paper.
Spruce resin became rare and expensive because of this use of spruce wood pulp, and gum manufacturers were forced to find other ways to satisfy the growing demands of their chewing clientele.
Through experimentation, they discovered that paraffin obtained from crude petroleum was a possible substitute.
The first company to produce a paraffin-based chewing gum was owned by Curtis and his son.
Compared with spruce gum, the paraffin gum was much easier to form, as it could be poured into molds in its liquid state.
(This is still done today with chocolate figures.)
The ingredients that went into paraffin gum were paraffin, sugar, color, flavor and several types of fat.
The first patent for the production of chewing gum was filed in 1869, and was issued to Mr. W. F. Semple in Ohio under U. S. Patent No. 98,304.
The development of chewing gum and bubble gum as we know them today, containing larger amounts of latex (or, more recently, synthetic rubber), began in the 1880's.
An inventor, Thomas Adams, Sr., had, heard that chicle, the latex of the sapodilla tree which grew in Mexico, could easily be converted into a rubber substitute.
He bought a ton of chicle in order to experiment with the substance.
Adams and several friends, one of them a chemist, performed their experiments in the kitchen of his home.
He tried to vulcanise the sapodilla latex.
Achieving this process would enable him to realize his visions of chicle bicycle tires and other products, but in the end, all of his efforts were in vain.
The story of how chicle chewing gum was invented is related as follows:
After about a year's work of blending chicle with rubber the experiments were regarded as a failure; consequently Mr. Adams intended to throw the remaining lot into the East River.
But it happened that before this was done, Thomas Adams, Sr. went into a drugstore at the corner.
While he was there, a little girl came into the shop and asked for chewing gum for one penny.
lt was known to Mr. Adams that chicle, which he had tried unsuccessfully, to vulcanise as a rubber substitute, had been used as a chewing gum by the natives of Mexico for many years.
So the idea struck him that perhaps they could use the chicle he wanted to throw away for the production of chewing gum and so salvage the lot in the storage.
After the child had left the store, Mr. Adams, Sr. asked the druggist what kind of chewing gum the little girl had bought.
He was told that it was made out of paraffin wax and was a "pretty poor gum. "
When he asked the man if he would be willing to try an entirely different kind of gum, the druggist agreed.
When Mr. Adams arrived home that night, he spoke to his son about his idea and both got so enthusiastic that they decided to make a few boxes of chewing gum as a sales test.
They took some of the chicle and put it into hot water until it reached the consistency of putty.
Then they wetted their hands, rubbed and kneaded the chicle and formed it into about 200 little balls.
The balls no longer looked brownish black, but some sort of greyish white.
The unsweetened greyish white chewing gum balls were sent to the druggist, who took them for a sales test as promised.
Adams told him that this quantity would probably last for about three months.
The shop-keeper sold the balls-two for a penny-and they were sold out before noon the same day.


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This encouraging news forced Adams and his son to produce more, and so began a chewing gum dynasty.
Today, Adams Chiclets is more than merely a brand name.
lt is often used as a generic term for tablets coated with sugar or sugar substitutes, much against the wishes of the Warner Lambert Company, to which it belongs as a registered trade mark.
By the First World War, gum chewing had become so widespread that gum was even supplied to the American Expeditionary Forces, which is how it reached Europe.
Despite its introduction by these American soldiers, chewing gum was not able to achieve widespread popularity in Europe at that time.
However, in America, consumption of the new chicle chewing gum grew rapidly from year to year.
By 1926, annual production amounted to 300,000 tons.
The history of chewing gum would not be complete without mention of the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company.
William Wrigley, Sr. was a soap manufacturer in Philadelphia.
His son, William Wrigley, Jr., had dropped out of school and was trying to earn some money by working at various jobs until he joined his father's company and began working in sales.
After having sold all the soap his father's factory could produce, he set out for Chicago and opened a new branch of the family enterprise.
William Wrigley, Jr. introduced a soap marketing concept that offered premiums to retailers who bought his products, based upon the size of the orders they placed.
The premium he used to sell his soap was baking powder.
When he found that the baking powder was successful in selling the soap, he went into the baking powder business and used chewing gum as a premium to sell that.
With huge success.
lt was then that he went into the chewing gum business.
The premiums he used to sell his chewing gum ranged from lamps and clocks to counter scales and cash registers.
In the early 1890's, he founded the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company.
During the first year of production, he travelled all around the country, personally promoting and selling his gum.
From the beginning, Wrigley emphasized advertising.
He invested much of his money in advertising campaigns, and suffered many set-backs.
But finally, by 1910, his concerted advertising efforts had made "Wrigley" a household name throughout America.
Wrigley once explained his concept to a reporter: "Get a good product; it's easier to row downstream than up. Tell the customers quickly and tell them often how good your product is.
Keep always coming to them.
Advertising is pretty much like running a train.
You've got to keep on shoveling coal into the engine.
Once you stop stoking, the fire goes out.
The train will run on its own momentum for a while, but it will gradually slow down and come to a dead stop."
Adhering to this principle, Wrigley advertised as much as he could afford.
The name "Wrigley," as well as pictures of Wrigley's Spearmint gum, were on display everywhere.
The Wrigley Company built its first chewing gum plant outside of America in 1910 (Canada), and the same advertising philosophies were utilized in other countries.
Today, Wrigley controls a major share of the European chewing gum market.
Bubble gum, as we know it today, did not make its appearance until 1928.
lt was the invention of Walter E. Diemer.
Diemer knew nothing about chemis try; he was a young cost accountant.
For over a year, though, he had tried to find the magic formula that would turn chewing gum into the product gold mine that bubble gum was to become.
One morning, as he was experimenting with the gum, he noticed something different, something he could not logically explain.
He placed a piece of his new gum in his mouth and tried to blow a bubble.
The bubble grew larger and larger and, when it softly popped, the thin film would not peel off his nose and mouth.
The elasticity of this gum was much greater than that of normal chewing gum.
Yet when he tried to duplicate his work the next day, that batch of bubble gum would not work at all.
lt would take another four months of work on the sticky stuff until he would be able to perfect his bubble gum formula.
While working with a subsequent batch, Diemer realized that the gum would be more appealing if it had some colouring.
Since pink food colouring was the only color he had on hand, he added the pink colouring.
This lack of colors, which might be termed a fortunate accident by bubble gum connoisseurs today, may be the reason that bubble gum the world over has been predominantly pink ever since.
After the Second World War, when bubble gum was being sold on Europe's black market, it was renamed the "pink market.
On the day after Christmas in 1928, the first Dubble Bubble (as Diemer's boss Gilbert Mustin , the head of Fleer Corporation, christened this invention) was launched in Philadelphia.
A small mom and pop candy store was the first store in the world to test-market bubble gum.
lt became an instant hit.
In fact, Dubble Bubble was such an overwhelming success that within three months, all kinds of imitations were flooding the market.
Before the Second World War, bubble gum had been an exclusively American product. However, American soldiers and CARE packages helped to popularise chewing gum and bubble gum in Europe and other parts of the world.
When European candy manufacturers recognized the huge demand for these new products, they worked to discover the secrets of gum production and develop their own gum bases in order to compete with the chewing gum giant Wrigley, and its gum base manufacturing subsidiary, the L.A. Dreyfus Company in France.
Consequently, gum manufacturers began to spring up all over Europe, including Dandy in Denmark, Maple Leaf in the Netherlands, OK-Kaugummi and Hitschler in Germany, Krema-Hollywood in France and Perfetti in Italy.
These companies, in addition to the existing U. S. subsidiaries, have grown to significant size.
In addition to Dreyfus, there are three other firms in the world at present which produce gum base only: Cafosa in Spain, Gum Base in Italy, and Kimpak in Turkey.
In the Eastern Bloc, the demand for chewing gum has not been as great, but plants have been built there as well.
Most of these plants in Poland, Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia, received their technical knowledge from the Maple Leaf Company in Holland.
Chewing gum plants have also been constructed in the U.S.S.R. and in East Germany.
Between 1978 and 1980, four chewing gum plants were built in the U.S.S.R. for the Olympic Games by a West German chewing gum machine manufacturer.
Two plants in East Germany were built with the assistance. of OK-Kaugummi of West Germany'
None of the other gum manufacturing plants within the Eastern Bloc were built in cooperation with the inventors of modern chewing gum-the Americans -but with the engineering assistance of the Europeans.
In 1961, the first chewing gum plant in Japan was constructed.

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