Profile America: Chewsy Americans Know Their Gum

Sunday, December 18 —┬áThe month of December has given Americans a lot to chew on, beyond holiday cookies, fruitcakes and candies. In December 1869, chewing gum was patented by Ohio dentist William Semple, who hoped that the flavored gum would help people keep their teeth clean. Others, such as Thomas Adams and John Colgan, perfected the consistencies and flavors. And the first bubble gum, created by Walter Deemer of the Fleer chewing gum company, was sold in a single Philadelphia location the day after Christmas in 1928. Both gum varieties have spread globally, which unfortunately includes on sidewalks and under tables and chairs. Around 100,000 tons of chewing gum alone are consumed annually in the U.S. The manufactured value of both chewing and bubble gum is around $1.9 billion per year.

Profile America is in its 20th year as a public service of the U.S. Census Bureau.

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