Recreational chewing:
A retrospective

Blackjacks and Beemans:

The origins of chicline

Blibber-Blubber Doubble Bubble

Workin' on the Chain Gang

Gum Facts
(that smack of the truth)

Gumball Machine

The irrepressible Wrigley

Pick 'n Chews Pilgrimages

Tom and Becky: A love story

Sticky Questions — a quiz

Blackjacks and Beemans:
The origins of chicline

Chewing gum as we know it today came from Mexico soon after the Civil War. General Antonio Lopez de Santa Ana, famous for leading the siege on the Alamo, brought with him to New York from his native Mexico a quantity of chicle, the dried sap of the sapodilla tree. Legend has it that it was Santa Ana's chewing habit that gave inventor Thomas Adams. Sr. the idea of selling chicle in the United States.

In 1871 Adams received the first patent on a gum-making machine and began mass producing a chicle-based gum. His first gum ("Snapping and Stretching") was pure chicle with no flavoring, but sold well enough to encourage Adams in his plans. He began to experiment with flavorings, beginning with sarsaparilla. In 1884, he began adding a licorice flavoring and called his invention Adams' Black Jack, the first flavored gum in America. Adams' Pepsin Tutti-Frutti chewing gum followed in 1890. Black Jack was sold into well the 1970s, when production was halted because of slow sales. Adams eventually became part of the American Chicle Company.

Beemans was originally invented in 1898 as a cure for heartburn. Clove Gum got a boost during Prohibition when it was handed out as a breath freshener in illegal liquor houses.

The Warner-Lambert Pharmaceutical Company reintroduced the 100-year-old Black Jack, Beemans, and Clove gums in 1986 as a part of their "Nostalgia Gum program."

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