GMSI Cleaning Services - Gum History

Just for Fun...

Who ever thinks of chewing gum on a regular basis? Normally, the only time most of us really think about it is when we step in it or feel it under a table or chair and get those cold chills wondering who had put it there.

Those of us in the business of removing it may have a different view of this age old product. Regardless of your relationship with this product, we thought you may wish to learn more about the history of gum.

Long Ago...

The ancient Greeks and Middle Easterners enjoyed chewing mastic resin combined with beeswax, the first form of modern day chewing gum. The Mayans were not far behind in developing a product called chicle, a coagulated sap of the Sapodilla tree in the second century. The American Indians of New England were also chewing gum. Their gum was made from the resin of Spruce trees. This product was later replaced by paraffin wax gum in the early 19th century. Sweetened and flavored paraffin wax is still used in the production of novelty chewing gum bases.

Now and Again

Modern day gum products actually appeared in 1869, when the famous Mexican General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna was searching for a substitute for rubber. He thought that chicle would fit his purpose. He contacted an American inventor Thomas Adams, who experimented with chicle but found it unsuitable as a rubber base. Later, Adams noticed a child chewing a paraffin-based gum and remembered that the General chewed the very same substance he was trying to turn into rubber. Adams realized that this substance was superior to other products on the market. He produced some chicle based gum, flavored it and persuaded a local druggist to carry it. This revolutionized the gum industry.


Although chicle and other natural gums are still utilized by the chewing gum industry, some, because of the growing demand are being extended by man made materials. These have proven beneficial in providing the high consistency of chewing gum that the industry prides itself for.

Modern chewing gum is enjoyed by hundreds of millions of people around the world and is finding acceptance everywhere. Little wonder, never has the need for a little something extra to make you feel better been greater. Gum in enjoyable to chew and is refreshing as well.

Why do we chew?

Thanks to modern psychology, we have a pretty good idea of what the urge to chew is all about. Quite literally, psychologists say that the process begins at infancy from the nursing instinct. The older child chews on blades of grass and stalks of straw. Some children chew on pencils and other objects. As a puppy and kitten chew to strengthen their teeth, so do humans. It is a natural instinct. A child soon discovers the pleasing alternative tastes that gum has to offer. The adult knows that gum offers benefits as well. Chewers say gum helps clean their teeth, freshens breath, is used as a food alternative when dieting because of the low calories and is often used to curb the need for cigarettes in those wishing to quit this habit.

Chew While You Work?

At work, chewing gum seems to make the job go easier, it helps us to concentrate on the task at hand whether in an office, factory, on the farm or doing homework. Many car and truck drivers find that chewing gum is a valuable aid in keeping alert at the wheel and that it eases tension.

The chewing gum industry is in a tremendous growth mode today. Currently, North Americans alone spend over 4 billion dollars annually on the purchase of gum products. This equates to approximately 50 million sticks of gum consumed per day! As a point of reference, Wrigley?s, the largest of seven major gum manufacturers in the United States, announced that their sales increased over 9% last quarter.

You Need Us!

It seems that gum is here to stay. The improper disposal of this product has caused, and will continue to cause a need for GMSI Cleaning Services. For more information on our removal process, please feel free to contact us.