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7am stumper 3-24-14

The Associated Press reports that Americans are chewing a lot less gum. Gum sales have tumbled 11 percent in just four years.  No one is sure why we are not chewing like we used to. Of course, we have chewed gums for centuries. And now there are so many types.  One of the enduring favorites, though, is bubble gum.  It still has the distinct taste and pink color that it always has had.

Why was the first commercially successful bubble gum colored pink?
1. wanted to market to girls
2. wanted to contrast with other types of gum
3. only pink dye in factory

The answer is 3. only pink dye in factory

Frank Henry Fleer actually created a gum that could be used to blow bubbles, but it would stick to your face, and was not successful.  The first successful bubble gum is credited to Walter Diemer.  Diemer was a 23-year-old accountant with the Fleer Chewing Gum Company in Philadelphia in 1928.  Diemer liked to experiment with different gum recipes and, according to his online obituary in the New York Times, Diemer started experimenting with the gum base-- the part that makes gum chewy.  The obit says he accidentally came up with the formula for a bubble gum that was not so sticky and made it pink because that was the only shade of food coloring on hand.

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