“I’m a gumchewer … I just adore gum. I can’t do without it. I munch it all day long except for a few minutes at mealtimes when I take it out and stick it behind my ear for safekeeping. To tell you the honest truth, I simply wouldn’t feel comfortable if I didn’t have that little wedge of gum to chew on every moment of the day, I really wouldn’t. My mother says it’s not ladylike and it looks ugly to see a girl’s jaws going up and down like mine do all the time, but I don’t agree.'”
Violet Beauregarde in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory 1.
While chewing gum may not seem like a noteworthy invention, what is especially remarkable about it is its cultural effects. A tiny product that does not provide actual sustenance is a billion dollar industry today. Along the way, it has faced some controversy amidst its popularity, as Roald Dahl suggests in the above quote. Nevertheless, chewing gum has come a long way from its humble beginnings as tree bark flavored with honey. Explore the following pages to learn more about this cultural phenomenon, and discover how chewing gum has evolved to a product that America and the world cannot do without, whether its the Dubble Bubble Blowing Contest or that irritating stick on the bottom of your shoe.
This site has been created and is maintained by Sara Krechel.