No Gum For You!

May 14, 2010 at 9:29 am Leave a comment

I confess, I don’t love gum. Happily, I’m not the only one. 44 people joined the Facebook Group “Against Chewing Gum.”  But Americans LOVE gum. Half of all Americans are proud gum chewers, upwards of 300 sticks per year. That’s almost $3 billion in gum sales.

Not everyone approves. I, for example, were I to be made king of the world, would outlaw chewing gum on the grounds that there is only one thing worse than stepping in fresh chewing gum on the sidewalk. And the arbiters of elegant manners have ever declaimed against the perpetual chewing motions that burn 11 calories per hour.

This is America, after all, so no king will take away anyone’s gum. Unless you happen to work for a very strict 24/7 employer. One like the U.S. Navy.

Back in 1911, the Navy Brass had enough of the indignities of chewing gum. So they said NO MORE GUM!

The navy is disconsolate. Thousands of nautical jaws that hitherto industriously and contentedly labored at the irresistible chewing gum now give their energies to berating the Fates that have decreed to them a future chicle-less existence. Chewing gum has been taken from the navy stores. Captain Fullam of the battleship Mississippi says: “The chewing gum habit is decidedly objectionable for obvious reasons”; and the Navy Dept has taken his view of the matter.

But many thought “Uncle Sam” had taken his uncle-ing duties a little too far:

Source: “Gum Mustered Out,” International Confectioner Dec 1911.

Entry filed under: 1890 to WW I, War. Tags: , .

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Candy: A Century of Panic and Pleasure

Welcome to Candy Professor

Candy in American Culture What is it about candy? Here you'll find the forgotten, the strange, the curious, the surprising. Our candy story, one post at a time.

(C) Samira Kawash

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