Who invented chewing gum, and when was it first used?

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pmiranda2857 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Gum has a long history dating back to the ancient world.  Ancient Greeks chewed resin from the Mastic Tree.  In 17th century America, settlers made their own formulation by combining spruce sap and beeswax.  The first commercial formulation of chewing gum occurred in 1848. John B. Curtis was responsible for packaging the first chewing gum product available for sale to the public.

"The Curtis company thrived, and business grew still further when the younger Curtis developed a machine to mass produce gum and founded the first chewing gum factory. The Curtis's manufacturing process is roughly the same one used to produce chewing gum today."

The company was successful; however there were not many gum manufacturers entering the market in the 19th century.  One Ohio dentist, William Semple, recommended chewing gum for the purpose of exercising the jaw.  His formulation of gum, which was created with rubber, was given a patent in December 1869.

Over the next 50 years, the formulation of gum changed and new flavors made the product more appealing to a broader customer base, and more and more companies began manufacturing chewing gum. Particularly successful is the Wrigley Company. 

Yojana_Thapa | Student

Thomas Adams in 1870

Jyotsana | Student

The Ancient Mayans chewed chicle which is the sap from the sapodilla tree. North Americans Indians chewed the sap from spruce trees and passed the habit along to the settlers. Early American settlers made a chewing gum from spruce trees and beeswax. In 1848 John B. Curtis made and sold the first commercial chewing gum called the State of Maine Pure Spruce Gum.                     

kravon | Student

Neolithic People, 9000 years ago, chewed some kind of "caveman chewing gum"[1].

Ancient Greece island, Chios, was famous for their Mastiche chewing gums, made from mastic (mastix) tree. Mastic three is very small and grows up to 4m tall. Romans used mastic chewing gums too. Ancient Mayans used the coagulated sap of the Sapodilla tree as chewing gums.

Modern chewing gum was invented in USA in 19th century.

John B. Curtis and his brother (to so some sources father) started selling chewing gums in 1848. They made their first chewing gums of spruce gum.

In 1869. Amos Tyler patented the chewing gum, however he never sold chewing gums himself.

The true inventor of modern commercially successful chewing gum was Thomas Adams. Since 1870. his company Adams & Sons began selling Sour Orange chewing gum, as after dinner "candy". In 1871 Thomas Adams patented a chewing gum making machine.

russo | Student

Thomas Adams 1870

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