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The Invention of Bubble Gum

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Girl blowing bubble with bubble gum
Joe Toreno/ Stone/ Getty Images
Chewing gum has a history that spans as far back as the ancient Greeks, who chewed the resin from mastic trees. However, it wasn't until 1928 that Walter Diemer happened upon just the right gum recipe to make the very first bubble gum, a special type of chewing gum that allows the chewer to make bubbles.

Icky Attempts at Creating Bubble Gum

Walter Diemer might have invented bubble gum, but he wasn't the first person who wanted to make gum bubbles. There were early attempts at making bubble gum in the late 1800s and early 1900s; however, these bubble gums did not sell well because they were considered too wet and usually broke before a good bubble was formed.

Diemer's Bubble Gum

The invention of the first successful bubble gum is credited to Walter Diemer (1905-1998) in 1928. At the time, 23-year-old Diemer was an accountant for Fleer Chewing Gum Company who experimented on new gum recipes in his spare time. Diemer considered it an accident to have hit upon a formula that was less sticky and more flexible than other chewing gums, characteristics that allowed a chewer to make bubbles.

Why Pink?

Diemer used a pink dye for his new gum because pink was the only color available at the Fleer Chewing Gum Company. (Pink remains the industry standard for bubble gum.)

Dubble Bubble

To test his new recipe, Diemer took samples of the new gum over to a local store and it sold out in a single day. Realizing they had a new, wonderful type of gum, Fleer Chewing Gum Company marketed Diemer's new gum as "Dubble Bubble." To help sell the new bubble gum, Diemer himself taught salespeople how to blow bubbles so that they in turn could teach potential customers. Dubble Bubble remained the only bubble gum on the market until Bazooka bubble gum was appeared after World War II.
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