National Chewing Gum Day is observed annually on September 30.
Humans have used chewing gum for over 5,000 years. They may have chewed it for enjoyment, to stave off hunger or to freshen their breath much like we do today. The sources used to make gum resulted in minty and sweet chewable globs of wax or sap resin that fulfilled that human urge to gnaw. It was unlikely they were capable of producing glossy, pink bubbles worthy of jealous pokes from siblings. However, waking up with it stuck in your hair was still a possibility.
Do you remember collecting cards from the bubble gum packs. Maybe your dad or grandparent collected baseball cards. If so you may want to look through the collection. An extremely rare 1909 Honus Wagner card is on the auction block. It could sell for upwards of $5-million. Yes, that’s 5 followed by six zeros. You can read more on that here.
Various forms of chewing gum have existed since the Neolithic period. In 2007, a British archeology student discovered a 5,000-year-old piece of chewing gum which was made from bark tar with tooth imprints in it. Presumed to be the oldest piece of chewing gum, it was found in Kierikki, Yli-li, Finland. Made from bark tar, the gum was believed 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.