Bubble gum was originally conceived in 1906, by Frank Fleer, who later also invented the famous candy-coated Chiclet that appeared in vending machines across the county.
It was not until 1928, however, that it was perfected. Called Dubble Bubble, it was first introduced in Philadelphia, where it was an instant success. It was colored pink because that was the only color readily available the day Walter Diemer invented it. Pink is the favorite color today.
For years Tootsie Rolls were the favorite one cent candy, but Dubble Bubble quickly surpassed it in sales.
Dubble Bubble's main competitor was Blony, which was made by the bowman Company.
The Bowman company was the first to include a picture card in its bubble gum package. The pictures were initially cowboys and Indians, then war heroes.
Baseball cards came later, introduced by the Topp company, who also introduced the now famous Bazooka gum.
Bubble gum was always a big seller, except during WWII when production had to be stopped because some of the ingredients were not available.
After the war, the demand was so great that a black market for gum was created and it is claimed that some people were able o sell bubble gum for almost a dollar a piece.
Today bubble gum still brings in big dollars...it is estimated athat over $150 million is sold each year in the United States alone.
Copyright: 2009, updated 2017 Ken Durham