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

  Blibber-Blubber Double Bubble

By the turn of the century, the chewing public was gobbling up new products such as Frank V. Canning's "dental gum" and Henry Fleer's candy-coated Chiclets. Henry's brother Frank began to work on a gum elastic enough to blow into bubbles. The first bubble gum, Blibber-Blubber, came along in 1906, but never made it to market--it was so sticky that the only way to remove it from skin was with vigorous scrubbing and turpentine.

Walter Diemer, a Fleer employee, achieved a breakthrough in August, 1928…and he wasn't even a chemist. Diemer was working as Fleer's accountant when he discovered, through trial and error, the magic mix of ingredients-stiff enough to get off skin, but flexible enough to blow. Bubble gum even owes it characteristic pink hue to Diemer's serendipity, pink being the only coloring left on the shelf when he mixed up his first successful batch. Not long after its introduction, Fleer's Dubble Bubble became the bestselling penny candy in the United States. Fleer sold the Chiclet business in 1909 (Chiclets are now made by Warner-Lambert), but Dubble Bubble is still made at the Fleer plant in Philadelphia.

The next major innovation in gum production came in the early 1950s, when Harvey's chemically-sweetened sugar-less gum was introduced. Suddenly, gum was deemed safe to chew, and its popularity surged again as dentists began recommending sugarless gum "to their patients who chew gum."
If you want to photos of people blowing the biggest bubbles you've ever seen, see:
Just be careful if you're driving-there are stories out there about an unfortunate Australian who died because his huge bubble burst and covered the lenses of his glasses while he was driving, causing him to lose control of his car.
For the webpage of the Guinness champ for biggest bubble blown (23 inches in diameter) go to: