American Chicle Company

The American Chicle Company was a chewing gum trust founded by Thomas Adams, Jr., with Edward E. Beeman and Jonathan Primle.[1]

Beeman's Pepsin Gum from the American Chicle Company

Thomas Adams

Adams Pepsin Tutti Frutti Gum
An advertisement of Adams chewing gum

Thomas Adams (May 4, 1818 – February 7, 1905) was a 19th-century American scientist and inventor who is regarded as a founder of the chewing gum industry. Adams conceived the idea while working as a secretary to former Mexican leader Antonio López de Santa Anna, who chewed a natural gum called chicle. Adams first tried to formulate the gum into a rubber which was suitable for making tires. When that didn't work, he turned the chicle into a chewing gum called New York Chewing Gum.[2][3]

In 1870, Adams created the first flavored gum, black licorice, which he named Black Jack. In 1871, Adams patented the first chewing gum making machine. In 1888, his gum was the first to be sold in vending machines.

Company history

Two women operating gum-wrapping machine at the American Chicle Company Plant in Brooklyn, New York, 1923

The company was incorporated in Trenton, New Jersey on June 2, 1899.[1] Its market capitalization was $9,000,000 with one third issued as preferred stock and 6% with cumulative dividends. The business was composed of the chewing gum concerns in Brooklyn, New York (Adams Sons & Company); Cleveland, Ohio (W. J. White & Sons); Chicago (J. P. Primley); Louisville, Kentucky (Kis-Me Gum Company); and Toronto (S. T. Britten & Co.).[4] The corporation operated factories and gum forests in Yucatan.[5]

In 1915, the company introduced Chiclets.

On January 8, 1920, Dr. Don Ricardo Moreira, of San Salvador of the Coldwell & Moreira firm, registered American Chicle Co. trademarks in El Salvador.[6]

American Chicle utilized Dancer Fitzgerald Sample in 1950 to promote its products via radio, newspapers, and television.[7] American Chicle was acquired by the pharmaceutical company Warner-Lambert in 1962; Warner-Lambert was acquired by Pfizer in 2000.

The American Chicle Company was renamed Adams in 1997; Cadbury purchased Pfizer's candy brands in 2003. Kraft Foods (now Mondelez International) purchased Cadbury in 2010. Many of American Chicle's brands are out of production. Its best known product was probably Chiclets chewing gum which was discontinued in 2016.

See also



  1. ^ a b "Chewing Gum Has Stuck Around For A Long Time". Deseret News. April 24, 1988. Retrieved 2010-12-14. Adams and other chewing gum giants of the 19th century Dr Edward E Beeman and Jonathan Primley founded American Chicle in 1899 ...
  2. ^ "Thomas Adams Dead" (PDF). The New York Times. February 8, 1905. Retrieved August 14, 2017.
  3. ^ "Staten Island on the Web: Famous Staten Islanders". New York Public Library. Archived from the original on February 10, 2009.
  4. ^ "The Chewing Gum Trust". The New York Times. June 3, 1899. p. 3.
  5. ^ "American Chicle". The Wall Street Journal. December 16, 1901. p. 3.
  6. ^ "Registro de Marcas de Fábrica" [Registry of Trademarks] (PDF). Diario Oficial (in Spanish). San Salvador, El Salvador. 13 January 1919. Retrieved 18 November 2020.
  7. ^ "Advertising News and Notes". The New York Times. July 25, 1950. p. 42.