Chewing gum is a soft, cohesive substance designed to be chewed without being swallowed. Humans have used chewing gum in some form for at least 100,000 years. Most chewing gums are considered polymers. Longer polymers can produce larger bubbles due to increased intermolecular forces.
Chewing gum in many forms has existed since the Neolithic period. 6,000-year-old chewing gum made from birch bark tar, with tooth imprints, has been found in Finland. The tar from which the gums were made is believed to have had antiseptic properties and other medicinal benefits. The ancient Aztecs used chicle, a natural tree gum, as a base for making a gum-like substance and to stick objects together in everyday use. Forms of chewing gums were also chewed in Ancient Greece: mastic gum made from the resin of the mastic tree. Many other cultures have chewed gum-like substances made from plants, grasses and resins.
The American Indians chewed resin made from the sap of spruce trees. The New England settlers picked up this practice and, in 1848, John B. Curtis developed the first commercial chewing gum called The State of Maine Pure Spruce Gum. Around 1850, a gum made from paraffin wax was developed and soon exceeded the spruce gum in popularity. William Semple filed an early patent on chewing gum this date in 1869.
The first flavored chewing gum was created in the 1860s by John Colgan, a Louisville, Kentucky pharmacist. Colgan mixed with powdered sugar the aromatic flavoring tolu, a powder obtained from an extract of the balsam tree, creating small sticks of flavored chewing gum. He licensed a patent for automatically cutting chips of chewing gum from larger sticks and a patent for automatically cutting wrappers for sticks of chewing gum.
The Wrigley Company is an American institution founded in 1891. William Wrigley Jr. began packaging chewing gum with each can of baking powder. The chewing gum eventually became more popular than the baking powder, and Wrigley’s reoriented the company to produce the gum. The company currently sells its products in more than 180 countries and districts, maintains operations in over 50 countries, and has 21 production facilities in 14 countries including the United States, Mexico, Spain, the United Kingdom, France, the Czech Republic, Poland, Russia, China, India, Japan, Kenya, Taiwan, and Australia.
Synthetic gums were first introduced to the U.S. after chicle no longer satisfied the needs of making good chewing gum. By the 1960s, US manufacturers had switched to butadiene-based synthetic rubber as it was cheaper to manufacture.
Popping a piece of gum does a whole lot more than freshen your breath. According to a 2013 study published in the British Journal of Psychology, chewing gum can actually help you stay focused for longer—especially in situations where you have to concentrate over a prolonged period of time. So, next time you need to focus, drop the espresso and pick up the peppermint!
(from Wikipedia and cute-calendar.com)