Tracking the Success of Bubble Gum
We sit on it, step on it, buy it, blow it, snap it, pop it, and chew it: bubble gum- that messy pink wonder that seems to be everywhere. We chew it to keep hydrated while running; we buy it for the baseball cards that are included in the package; we chomp to the rhythm of our favorite music. We challenge our friends to bubble-blowing contests if we’re feeling silly; we snap it if we’re angry. In fact, we may not give too much thought to this integral piece of teenage life, but it is part of our daily routines.
Bubble gum is a major part of life in the United States. Let us unwrap the beginnings of bubble gum, chew on the business of bubbles, and pop in on some of bubble gum’s best uses.
Although it might be hard to believe, scientists have found evidence of a chewing gum habit as early as 9,000 years ago. In 1993, archaeologists uncovered a 9,000-year-old wad of resin bearing human tooth marks, proving the existence of caveman chewers (Gustaitis 30). The chewing habit has continued through-out the centuries and around the world.
The beginnings of chewing gum in the United States are clouded by legend. Some sources say that Mexican dictator Santa Anna brought gum to the United States in the 1870’s (Tuleja 64). However, bubble gum had entered the record books slightly later. According to one source, “In 1906 the Fleer Corporation unveiled the first bubble gum ever” (Wardlaw 47). Mr. Fleer himself gave it the tongue-twisting name Blibber-Blubber. The gum had mixed success. It tasted terrific and bubbled beautifully, but the bubbles would explode without warning and sometimes stuck to people’s faces.
According to Lee Wardlaw, a modern-day bubble gum reporter, the true bubble gum age arose when a 23-year-old accountant at the Fleer Corporation named Walder Diemer mixed up a 300-pound batch of bubble gum (Wardlaw 49). He had been experimenting with batches of bubbly brew at home for over a year; a few days before Christmas in...