Food For Thought: A Short History of Chewing Gum 8 years ago

Food For Thought: A Short History of Chewing Gum

We need food and drink to survive, to nourish us and to keep us in tip-top shape. But did you ever wonder about the history behind certain foods and drinks?

This week we’re bringing you the history behind chewing gum!


Chewing gum has a long history and has in fact existed since the Neolithic period. 3000-year-old chewing gum was found in Finland, and it was made from bark tar.

Bark tar at the time was believed to have antiseptic properties and other medicinal traits. Not only that but the ancient Aztecs also had a variation of gum using chicle as a base which women used it as a mouth freshener.

Forms of mastic gum were also found in Ancient Greece, made from the resin of the mastic tree.

In 1848, entrepreneur John B. Curtis developed the first commercial chewing gum called The State of Maine Pure Spruce Gum. At that time, it was made from paraffin wax was the key ingredient and William Semple patented chewing gum in 1869.


In 1871, Thomas Adams patented a machine for the manufacture of gum and eight years later John Colgan developed a way to make the taste last longer.

By the late 1800s, Tutti-Frutti gum was sold in vending machines in New York City and soon after that the Wrigley Doublemint brand was created.

Previously: Beef BourguignonBloody MaryBrowniesBubble TeaCaeser SaladCarpaccioChicken à la KingCorn FlakesCrème Brûlée, CupcakesDigestive BiscuitEggs BenedictGranny SmithsGuacamoleGummy BearsKaleKitKatMargherita PizzaMarzipanMelba ToastMeringuesNachosPancakesPiña ColadaPopcornProseccoRed Velvet CakeSmartiesWafflesWaterford Blaa