Walter Diemer

While it took William Wrigley to make gum nationally popularity, it took Walter Diemer to create one final alteration to the gum recipe to make it what we know today.  In 1906, after more than twenty years of research, Frank Henry Fleer created a gum with which one could blow bubbles.  He called his bubblegum “Blibber-Blubber.”  While this was a popular feature, one side effect made Blibber-Blubber fail on the market—when the gum stuck to your face, as tends to happen when blowing bubbles, turpentine was required to remove it. 19.  Finally, in 1928, Fleer accountant Walter Diemer discovered a recipe that allowed the gum to be easily peeled off the face once the bubble burst.  However, the next day the gum became hard and didn’t form any more bubbles and Diemer had forgotten to record the recipe.  It took another four months of experimentation to get the recipe right again.  The product was an ugly grey color, so Diemer was forced to use the nearest available color—pink.  And so, Dubble Bubble was created, and pink became the color of bubblegum. 20.  

  Walter Diemer

Dubble Bubble Logo

The Fleer company recognized the potential of the gum with “blowability.”  Salesmen were sent around the country to advertise and sell the gum.  They first, however, needed to be taught how to blow bubbles.  The gum had nearly instant popularity. Within three months, imitation Dubble Bubbles were on the market, but Dubble Bubble outstripped them all.  It surpassed Tootsie Rolls to be the world’s best-selling 1-cent candy, and in 1941 alone, $4.5 million worth of bubblegum was sold. 21.

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