ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

What's the Story Behind Chewing Gum?

Updated on October 15, 2018

Chewing Gum Facts and Myths

Most of us have chewed gum. I can remember as a kid wadding a whole package of gum into my my mouth and chomping away, Have you ever thought about where gum originated? how is gum made? Have you wondered: "Is it really dangerous to swallow gum? How do you get gum out?

The Discovery of Chewing Gum

The first evidence of chewing gum was found in Finland dating back to around the time when first prehistoric man made stone tools. Chewing gum of that period was made from the tar of tree bark. Archeologists believe that the gum made from this tar had a medicinal purpose. Chicle which was the original substance used in making commercial chewing gum was used by the ancient Aztecs every day.Aztec women used it as a mouth freshener.

Ancient Greeks chewed gum from the resin of the mastic tree. Native Americans chewed resin from spruce tree sap. New England settlers learn the practice from them. John B. Curtis sold the first commercial chewing gum--"The State of Maine Pure Spruce Gum. By 185o a gum made of paraffin wax replaced spruce gum in popularity. Another early patent for chewing gum was granted to William Semple on December 28, 1869.

Modern Chewing Gum

Chewing gum as we know it today was first developed in the 1860s when Mexican President General Santa Anna came to New York and gave it to Thomas Adams as a rubber substitute. Rather than being used as a rubber replacement, gum was cut into strips and marketed as Adams New York Chewing Gum in 1871, followed by Black Jack in 1884 and Chicklets in 1899.

Because Chicle did not make good chewing gum, U.S chewing gum manufacturers created synthetic gums using hydrocarbon polymers such as styrenebutadiene rubber, isobutelene, isoprene copolymer, paraffin wax and petroleum wax.

How It's Made

Is it Harmful to Swallow Chewing Gum?

According to doctors at the Mayo Clinic, chewing gum generally is not harmful if swallowed. Although folklore suggests that gum will sit in the swallower's stomach for seven years before it can be digested. This is not true. Though it is true that your body is unable to digest chewing gum, it does not stay in your stomach. it usually simply travels in tact through your digestive tract and excreted through your digestive system.

Sometimes, on rare occasions, large amounts of swallowed gum can cause constipation and obstruction in the intestines of young children. This is why parents should try to avoid allowing their children to swallow gum.

How to Dispose of Chewing Gum Properly

Since swallowing chewing gum may not be good for the digestive tract, when you finish chewing the flavor out of the chewing gum, you need to find a way to dispose of it. One way, is to simply drop it on the ground, but as everyone knows, chewing gum on the sole of the shoe is an unpleasant experience. Putting chewing gum on the underside of desks or movie theatre seats is an extremely unsanitary practice as many janitors can attest. a better way to dispose of chewing gum is by throwing it into the trash. Ideally, when you throw the gum into the trash, you should wrap chewing gum in a piece of paper such as the wrapper from which it came. That keeps the gum contained so that its stickiness does not cause any adverse effects to anyone handling the trash..

When Chewing Gum Gets Where You Don't Want it

It seems that no matter how careful we are at making certain that gum makes it into the proper receptacles, we eventually have to deal with gum getting somewhere we don't want it. Gum will get in a child's hair, or on the bottom of a shoe, on tile or wood flooring or worse, smashed into a carpet.

I have basically two things that i use to remove gum from where I do not want it. If the gum is a relatively tight ball, taking ice and freezing the gum makes it easy to pry off a smooth type of flooring, the bottom of a shoe or even a child's hair.

If however, the gum is smashed into a carpet or into hair and is difficult to loosen and remove using ice, peanut butter works wonders. Rub peanut butter into the gum and scrub into the carpet or hair using a toothbrush. Wait about ten minutes. By the end of the ten minutes, the peanut butter will have dissolved the chewing gum. The combination of the peanut butter and chew gum will look like a mess, but you can then easily remove the greasy peanut butter using a dish detergent that dissolves grease. Once you have removed the greasy mess with the detergent, rinse affected area until clear.

© 2014 Cygnet Brown


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)