H. BAILEY CARROLL
ANUMBER of Association members have been interested in the
ATexas Collection item in the July Quarterly with reference
to chewing gum. Association member Edward Galm of
San Antonio has sent the following letter to the Association office:
I wrote you previously quoting columnist E. V. Durling on the
question of Santa Anna and chicle chewing gum. Since Mr. Durling
mentioned a Thomas Adams I decided to write the American Chicle
Company, 0o-3o Thompson Avenue, Long Island City i, New York,
which puts out Adams brand chewing gum. In reply I received a 7
page mimeographed pamphlet about the introduction, manufacture
and uses of chewing gum. The pamphlet, called "Facts About Chew-
ing Gum," contains one paragraph you might find of interest. Quote:
"In 1869, Santa Ana [sic] came to Staten Island with a sample of
chicle, the latex of sapodilla trees that grow wild in the jungles of
Southern Mexico and Central America. He was anxious to develop
a market for Mexican produce and hoped to find someone who could
devise a commercial use for the product. Santa Ana's first interested
customer was Thomas Adams, a merchant who owned a small general
store on Cortlandt Street, New York."
They go on to say that Mr. Adams and sons founded the first
chicle gum company, which, in 1899, was one of the several companies
consolidated to form the American Chicle Company. The first gum
sold was in the form of balls and unflavored. A Louisville druggist
made the first flavored gum. The flavor was licorice and the year 188o.
Questions like this, posed by the Quarterly, intrigue me very much.
I enjoy reading them and searching for the answer, sometimes finding
it, more often than not in some later issues of the Quarterly.
David Donoghue of Fort Worth has presented to the Associa-
tion two items of interest. These were secured from the late Mr.
and Mrs. J. Walter Allen.
The first is a manuscript consisting of notes and extracts copied
from A. M. Hobby, Life and Times of David G. Burnet (Gal-
veston, 1871), and the other is a photostat copy of the private
book and diary of Samuel L. Gouverneur during the Mexican
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 59, July 1955 - April, 1956. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101162/. Accessed June 2, 2015.