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Bubblegum Alley (San Luis Obispo) And The Market Theater Gum Wall (Seattle) – Are Gum-Centric Tourist Attractions

National Chewing Gum Day exercises our jaws on September 30th. Pop a bubble or freshen your breath with your favorite piece of chewing gum.

  • Humans have used chewing gum for over 5,000 years. Various forms of chewing gum have existed since the Neolithic period. In 2007, a British archaeology student discovered a 5,000-year-old piece of chewing gum made from bark tar with tooth imprints in it.
  • Presumed to be the oldest piece of chewing gum, the discovery took place in Kierikki, Yli-li, Finland. Made from bark tar, scientists believed the gum to have antiseptic properties and other medicinal advantages.
  • Many other cultures chewed gum made from the resin of the mastic tree, from plants, grasses, and other resins.
  • In 1848, John B. Curtis developed and sold the first commercial chewing gum, which was called “The State of Maine Pure Spruce Gum.”
  • Around 1850, a gum made from paraffin wax was developed and surpassed the spruce gum in popularity.
  • December 28, 1869, William Semple filed an early patent on chewing gum, patent number 98,304.
  • Studies show chewing gum helps improve memory, reduce stress, and increase alertness.
  • Chewing sugar-free gum improves overall oral hygiene while also helping to curb cravings and improving digestion.
  • Chewing gum while cutting onions can help a person from crying.
  • The color of the first successful bubble gum was pink because it was the only color the inventor had left. The color “stuck,” and today bubble gum is still predominantly pink.
  • Swallowed gum won’t clog up your intestines, but it will be with you for a few days. Gum base can’t be digested so it will pass through your system in one piece.
  • Singapore has tried to completely forbid gum, with heavy fines of over $6,000 for possession or use without a prescription. This Asian country banned the sale of chewing gum in 1992 (although it somewhat relaxed the law in 2004, allowing for therapeutic, dental, and nicotine chewing gum to be sold).
  • A 2000 study found around 250,000 globs of chewing gum stuck to London’s busy Oxford Street, and that in Rome, an estimated 15,000 pieces of chewed gum are discarded on the streets on a daily basis.
  • Chewing gum burns around 11 calories per hour.
  • Chewing gum on an airplane will keep your ears from popping. Chewing gum makes your salivary glands produce 250% more saliva than normally, so you swallow more. This helps balance the pressure in your head.
  • The average American chews around 300 sticks of gum in one year
  • In the U.S. alone, the total amount of chewing gum sold in one year would make a stick 3.5 million miles long. That’s long enough to reach the moon and back seven times or to circle the earth’s equator 150 times.
  • Back in the 1920’s, prohibition increased gum sales because people needed to mask the alcohol on their breath. When prohibition was enacted, Adam’s Clove gum hit the market with the slogan: “It takes your breath away!”
  • Humans are the only animals on earth that chew gum. If you give a monkey a piece he will chew it for a couple of minutes, then he will take it out and stick it to his hair.
  • During WWII, U.S. military personnel spread the popularity of chewing gum by trading it and giving it as gifts to people in Europe, Africa, Asia, and elsewhere around the world.
  • Cinnamon, spearmint and peppermint are among the most popular flavors of chewing gum today.
  • 100,000 tons of bubble gum is chewed every year all around the world.
  • Turkey is the country with the most gum companies; the United States is second
  • Another useful fun fact about chewing gum is that you can remove it from your hair using peanut butter. You will have to separate the area from the rest of your hair, cover it in peanut butter and start rubbing it out. This is due to the oil found in peanut butter which helps to separate the gum.
  • Studies have shown that having a chewing gum after a meal helps with heartburn as it can reduce acid in the esophagus.
  • The first name for chewing gum was “Blibber-Blubber”.   Frank Fleer, was the first to try to develop a gum you could blow into a bubble. Developed around 1906, Blibber-Blubber proved too sticky for most people’s liking. More than 20 years later, a Fleer employee successfully revisited the formula, and Dubble Bubble was born.
  • The average person chews over 300 sticks of gum each year!
  • Most chewing gum is purchased between Halloween and Christmas.
  • Juicy Fruit and Wrigley’s Spearmint were launched in 1893 by William Wrigley Jr. You can still find both in supermarket checkout lanes today and, in fact, according to Statista, Wrigley’s Doublemint is still the leading regular gum brand in the U.S.
  • Bubblegum Alley in San Luis Obispo, California, and the Market Theater Gum Wall in downtown Seattle — are gum-centric tourist attractions where the main thing to see is a massive accumulation of chewed gum that people have stuck to walls.
  • People who have chiclephobia are likely to have a fear of chewing gum, which includes chewing it themselves, being near a person who is chewing it, or even the site of previously chewed gum,


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