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Bubblegum. the Real History

Bubblegum.

Basically there are two versions of it’s history. There’s one about practically everything that’s ever happened in bubblegum. The other is the one about the things in bubblegum history that really matter. I’m here to tell you about the second.

First the basics. Over the years people have attempted to use bubblegum in ways that it simply wasn’t created for. For example we’ve heard of people talk of using bubblegum for it’s taste, as a stress reliever, to hold things together, to plug holes in dikes, as fish bait, as an eye patch if you’re playing pirates, as a mantra, and who knows what all else. Get it all out of your head. Accept no substitute purposes. Bubblegum was created for two reasons. To make big fun and to blow MEGA bubbles. The BOMB Squad was created for the same reasons, using bubblegum as it’s way to do it.

So, for the history that matters, gum has been around for a long time, having been chewed by Indians long before Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1492. It wasn’t until 1928 that bubblegum was invented, in Philadelphia, eighty years before this was written. And wow, what a product it is. We have seen it called “the essential element of childhood.” While that’s an excellent description, it’s nowhere near BOMBlastic enough. Bubblegum is actually the world’s greatest food!

In it’s 80 years of existence, bubble gum has made it’s presence known at all levels of society, from being stuck to the bottoms of shoes, movie theater chairs, tables and countertops, all the way up to the top, as mentioned before, being the world’s greatest food.

One day after it’s invention, according to the story, the inventor took a 5 pound batch to a nearby grocery store, and it was sold out in the first day. The inventor, I’m sure, must have thought that his ideas about his brand new product had just been verified, that it was destined for runaway success. Ever since that fateful day he has been proven correct. From such a humble beginning bubblegum now has to be an over one billion dollar business.

Anyway, in one of the most interesting and telling bits of information about the product, its written that the inventor and the company he worked for then began marketing the product and he did it was to train their salesmen how to blow bubbles (as, one account says, to show how “this gum was different from all other gums”). He also invited kids to his house to have bubble blowing contests. Note the stories don’t say that he tried to impress anyone with how good the gum tasted, or how you could do things better if you chewed it, or anything like that. No. This was not gum, like all other gums. This was not candy, something you eat just because you like the taste. No. This was bubblegum, and the reason it sold out so fast, and the reason the salesmen were trained the way they were was because this was a new, totally different product that could do something no other product could do back then and no other product can do now. Blow MEGA bubbles.

From there the history weaves itself into the fabric of our lives, both here and abroad. Many companies eventually sprung up making and selling bubblegum, which gets out into the hands and mouths (and hair, if you blow big bubbles) of bubblegum chewers world wide, likely including yours. And just about everyone has their own fun bubblegum memories and stories. Remember chewing your first bubblegum and trying to blow an unsuccessful bubble. Remember blowing bubblegum in school? Making the teacher mad? Sharing it with your friends and laughing at them when they stepped in it? Sticking your finger in it when they blew a bubble, or having them stick their fingers in yours? Remember competing in bubblegum contests and hearing about and seeing, snf maybe blowing giant bubblegum bubbles being blown? Kids sharing it with your parents and parents sharing it with your kids? Remember the joy, laughter, good times and fun?

These are both the real history and the real future of bubblegum. The history and the future that matters. Big fun and big bubbles which create either future happy times or past happy memories. Don’t do the product a disservice and try to use it for something it’s not. Use the right tool for the job, a good bubblegum that’s made for blowing big bubbles, and you’re just about guaranteed to have fun. Bubblegum’s creator knew it. Guinness World Record Holder Chewsy Suzy, Susan Montgomery Williams, lived it. And the BOMB Squad continues the tradition and wants to create even more fun with bubblegum. And now you know.

See you in Bubblegum Heaven, home of The BOMB Squad. Home of the fabulous BUBBLEGUM WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP where you can win the world championship of bubble blowing. Let’s have some fun!

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