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A Brief History of Chewing Gum The Mayans and Aztecs were the first to unlock the positive properties of gum Chewing gum has been around for centuries. Whether we chew it or not, most of us deal with it on a daily basis.
But have you ever thought about where it comes from? Mayan archaeologist Jennifer P. As Mathews explains, chewing gum has been around on this continent for hundreds of years in the form of chicle, a resin extracted from the sapodilla tree in southern Mexico and Central America.
Same principle as rubber —both are latexes. The Mayans and the Aztecs figured out a long time ago that by slicing the bark strategically, they could collect this resin and create a chewable substance from it. Interestingly, however, the Aztecs seemed to view public gum chewing as socially unacceptable for adults, especially men.
Thus they chew chicle in order not to be detested.
Pliny the Elder wrote about a plant-derived substance called mastich chewed or masticated, as it were by the ancient Greeks, and archaeological evidence suggests that chewing birch-bark tar was popular with Scandinavian young people thousands of years ago.
Northern Native American cultures chewed spruce tree resin, and European settlers picked up the habit and capitalized on it. But none of those things are the ubiquitous chewing gum we know today.
That goes back to chicle again, and an American inventor named Thomas Adams Sr. Adams and his sons first tried to vulcanize the chicle into a useful industrial substance, like rubber, but eventually hit on a better idea—boiling and hand-rolling it into pieces of chewing gum.
They produced five tons of chewing gum daily. His company would give free chewing gum to vendors who placed large soap orders.
When he realized that "the gum was more popular than the soap itself," he switched careers. It took several false starts and a massive advertising campaign before the William Wrigley Jr.
Company really took off, but by the time he died inWrigley was one of the richest men in the nation. The average American chewed sticks of gum a year by the s, creating a massive demand for chicle. As the fortunes of Adams, Wrigley and other chewing gum magnates surged, many Latin American communities would soon pay the price: This unsustainable industry set into motion another so-called collapse of Maya civilization that continues to have an effect today.
Fortunately for the trees but unfortunately for Latin American economieschewing gum manufacturers soon began switching to cheaper, synthetic bases made from petroleum, wax and other substances.
Bythe United States was no longer importing any chicle from Mexico. But chicle may be staging a small comeback. If not, I expect to see it soon.Other historical landmarks destroyed by the ruling family include a year old AlMosawra district in AlAwamya in August of , and AlKuaibah, a year old mud and stone structure in .
The new meta-analysis adds to a growing body of evidence suggesting that giving women gum after a C-section is a safe and effective way to help bring back gut function after the operation.
Q?rius is an interactive and experimental learning space that brings the unique assets of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History – the science, researchers, and collections – out from behind the scenes.
By sharing historical tales of discovery, we promote the development of critical thinking through the creation of learning environments in which students feel comfortable airing misconceptions of their own, taking risks, and asking questions.
“World Record Oil & Gas Discovery” Matt Badiali. based on this same natural gas discovery (or the same area, at least — the discoveries have obviously moved forward a bit in a year and a half, this latest wellhead test that Badiali witnessed was very recent) — and based in large part on T.
Boone Pickens’ large stake in the company. important natural product, characteristic of Greek agricultural production, we herein summarize the most important studies published about mastic’s biological properties, together with a brief review of the healing uses of mastic throughout history and its role in Greek and Eastern Mediterranean therapeutic tradition.