While the history of chewing gum as reported is accurate, I’m surprised that a piece of interesting trivia was left unchewed. The report mentions that the inventor Thomas Adams was a key figure in the creation & marketing of chewing gum, but not that he got the idea from the villain of the Alamo.
Adams owned a home on Staten Island. During one of his exiles from Mexico, General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna was a boarder in Adams’ house and Adams frequently noticed him chewing chicle. He asked to try some and got the idea for chewing gum.
First off, this is a column by Cecil, not a Staff Report, and hence I’m moving it to the appropriate forum.
Second, Sampiro, when you start a thread in response to a column, it’s helpful to other readers if you provide a link. Yes, it’s on the front page now, but it won’t be after a few days time, and it still takes search time. Hence, it’s polite and helpful to provide the link. In this case: The amazing history of chewing gum … which dates almost 30 years back.
I can find cites that say Adams was Santa Anna’s secretary, cites that say Santa Anna was living in NJ, etc.
While that info seems to come from a scholarly book, I’ll reserve judgement. I’ve seen too many commercial websites promote their own idea of the history of their product. Quite often, usually actually, with much embellishment.
And, just to show you how evil chewing gum was, here’s an article from an 1860 !! newpaper.
For what it’s worth, I used to live in Maine, and found that spruce gum (which was available there in convenience stores, etc., back then, and may still be, for aught I know), though it tasted nasty the first time, is OK, even pleasant, once one gets used to it.
Cecil mentions that the mexicans had been chewing it for centuries, what he does not say is that in the time of the aztec empire chicle was very popular among prostitutes, and it came to be a symbol of their profession.
Also for centuries in Greece and the Middle East a resin from the bark of the mastic tree was chewed. This gum was chewed mainly by women, but was used to freshen breath and clean teeth. (That kinda puts the recent boom in dental gums in perspective.)