Chewing gum is a popular type of confectionary that is used to freshen breath and help dental hygiene. This article will tell you exactly who invented gum and also look at some facts about chewing gum including some health risks associated with chewing gum.
Timeline of the Invention of Chewing Gum
- The Ancient Greeks used to chew mastiche which was made from the resin of the mastic tree. The Mayans chewed sap from the sapodilla tree. Native American Indians also chewed sap from a different type of tree, the spruce tree. Early American settlers picked up this habit of chewing sap.
- The first commercial chewing gum was invented by John Curtis in 1848. It was called the State of Maine Pure Spruce Gum (very interesting name)!
- On December 28, 1869, William Semple became the very first person to patent a chewing gum (US patent number 98,304)
- Two years later, in 1871, Thomas Adams patented a machine for the manufacture of chewing gum
- 1880 was the year when John Colgan invented a way to make the chewing gum flavour last longer.
- Tutti-Frutti became the first chewing gum to be sold in a vending machine. This chewing gum was a Thomas Adams invention.
- William Wrigley Jr and Henry Fleer added mint and fruity flavours to gum in 1914.
- The first bubble gum was invented by Frank Henry Fleer in 1906 but it was never sold to the public. Walter Diemer invented the first commercially sold bubble gum in 1928, improving upon Fleer’s recipe
Facts about Chewing Gum
- Some chewing gums contain vinyl acetate which is believed to be carcinogenic (cancer causing). Many manufactures are avoiding using this ingredient due to health concerns. The Canadian government has classified vinyl acetate as a potentially high hazard substance.
- Chewing gum is used by military personal to improve concentration and reduce stress on the battlefield.
- The United States military has experimented with caffeinated chewing gum which could keep people alert for extended periods of time without any fatigue.
- Most chewing gums now used artificial sweeteners instead of cane sugar.