City Cast

Bubble Gum Was Invented in Philadelphia

Brittany Valentine
Brittany Valentine
Posted on August 15
pink cylindrical shaped bubble gum, mixed in with multi-colored balls of bubble gum.

Philly invented many cool things, and bubblegum is just one of them. (GreenPimp/Getty Images)

If you love bubblegum, you can thank Philadelphia's own Walter E. Diemer. H/T to WHYY host Avi Wolfman-Arent for bringing this Philly invention story the recognition it deserves 🍬

In 1928, Diemer was working as an accountant at the Fleer Chewing Gum Company in Fairmount. One day, he was experimenting with gum formulas and discovered a super-stretchy variant.

Diemer kept tweaking the formula until he had gum that could form bubbles and be cleaned up relatively easily after it pops. The initial color was a dull gray, so he dyed it pink.

He showed it to the president of Fleer, who then dubbed it “Dubble Bubble.” Thus, an icon was born.

At first, the world wasn’t sold on bubble gum. The company had to finance a national ad campaign to shut down the idea that its product contained ingredients that are “harmful and injurious” to consumers. The rest, as they say, is history.

Diemer never received financial compensation for his discovery. But in 1998, he told the New York Times that he doesn’t regret it.

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