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Bubble Gum

One of the joys of American youngsters — and big league baseball players — was invented by accident in 1928 — bubble gum. Walter Diemer, an accountant for the Fleer Chewing Gum Company in Philadelphia, brewed up an experimental batch that was less sticky than regular gum and also stretched more easily. Seeing that it would make bubbles, he took a 5-pound chunk to a local grocery store, where eager youngsters bought it all in a single afternoon. Diemer’s invention was pink because that was the only food color on hand when he made the first batch. Americans buy a half billion pounds of all forms of chewing gum each year — worth more than $2.5 billion.

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