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In the late 1860s, Brooklynite Thomas Adams carried out a series of experiments with chicle, which is extracted from Mexican Sapota trees, hoping he could make the rubber-like substance into toys, boots or bicycle tires. The trials were a failure. He was just about to throw the chicle into the East River when he remembered that his boss, who was the ex-dictator of Mexico, regularly chewed it. Experimenting by adding sugar, he created a better tasting gum than any other available at that time.
(This post can be viewed in its original format at: https://www.bklynlibrary.org/blog/2011/09/07/chewing-gum-king)