Who Invented Bubblegum?

There are a number of varying stories on who actually invented bubble gum.

Walter E. Diemer

The popular story is that in 1928, Walter E. Diemer, an accountant for Fleer Chewing Gum Company, Philadelphia, 'accidentally' created a formula of gum which was less sticky and more stretchy than regular gum. It is said that he was just messing around with different ingredients and invented the bubble gum by mistake.

Gilbert Mustin, Sr.

However, this story is considered by some to be nothing more than a marketing opportunity. The writers of 'What's My Line' apparently wished to invite the inventor of bubble gum onto their show, 35 years after the invention of Dubble Bubble. But the true inventor of the bubble gum formula, Gilbert Mustin Sr. had died, and it is said that the Frank H. Fleer Company cast Walter Diemer the part of bubble gum inventor. The July 1990 Edition of the Smithsonian magazine portrayed Diemer as the undisputed father of bubblegum, establishing the popular story. Aparently, Gilbert Mustin's name appears on the original bubble gum patent in 1928.

Frank Fleer

Although accredited with inventing the first bubble gum which was called 'Blibber-Blubber', this was never actually sold.

John B. Curtis

John B. Curtis was the first person to make and sell chewing gum called 'The State of Maine Pure Spruce Gum' in 1848.

William Finley Semple

In 1869, William Finley Semple was the first person to patent chewing gum.

Cowboy Story

There is a story that a cowboy, watching a cow chewing her cud, figured he could find something to chew himself. Apparently he picked a few Sweetgum Balls off a tree, started chewing them, coughed and blew a bubble.

Further Reading

The chewing gum facts in this article have been researched from the following web pages, and is by no means a full history of chewing gum!

Fun Stuff

photos of a bubblegum contest
stride chewing gum campaign
bubblegum arcade