Who Invented Chewing Gum?
To find out who invented chewing gum, several names have to be mentioned. In fact, there were even ancient races that first came up with the idea of a chewing gum and should also be considered when talking of the first chewing gum maker.
Records say that in 1869, Thomas Adams was the one who invented chewing gum accidentally while trying to make rubber products out of chicle. In the same year Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna had introduced Adams to an interesting elastic sap material taken from the sapodilla tree. The ancient Mayans had chewed the same sap which was later known as chicle. However, Adams, considered the first chewing gum maker, was unsuccessful at converting chicle into rubber products like tires, boots, and toys.
Later, Adams suddenly thought of chewing the chewy material in his mouth and found it edible. He added flavor to it and was soon selling the flavored gums in 1871 in drug outlets. It was sold for a penny per piece. He also opened a gum factory in New York in the same year.
In 1888, Adams produced his specially flavored Tutti-Frutti with the use of vending machines. These were put in subway stations in New York. Now, the chewing gum was mass produced and fully commercialized. Adams, the man who invented chewing gum, made many significant contributions to the development of this sweet chewy delicacy so that he is considered the first chewing gum maker.
John B. Curtis
In 1848, the Pure Spruce Gum from Maine appeared in the market. This was manufactured and sold by John B. Curtis. Curtis is another name to consider when thinking of who invented chewing gum. Earlier, the North American Indians had chewed sap from beeswax and spruce. Later, American settlers continued the habit. In 1850 Curtis thought of adding flavor into paraffin gums. Soon, the paraffin gums were selling more than spruce gums. This contribution makes his name worth mentioning when talking of the first chewing gum maker.
William Finley Semple
When it comes to patenting a chewing gum product, the name to consider is William Finley Semple. He did this on December 28, 1869, the same year Adams started chewing gum. Semple probably picked up where Adams left off—the one who invented chewing gum.
In 1880, someone came up with an idea on how to make the gum flavor last longer while being chewed. It was John Colgan who came up with this idea.