The company was established in 1948 in Havertown, Pennsylvania, by Edward P. Fenimore (a longtime chewing gum expert who was with Bowman Gum). His son Edward L. Fenimore, served as president of the company and for a period, as the Chairman of the National Association of Chewing Gum Manufacturers. His sons, Edward P. II & Richard L., later joined him on the management team, making the company a third generation family owned and operated business. All products, many of which were sold under the Swell brand name, were manufactured in a 200,000-square-foot (19,000 m2) factory just west of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In July 2003, Concord Confections acquired the Philadelphia Gum Company and its brand names and shortly after closed the Havertown plant (Concord was acquired by Tootsie Roll Industries in 2004). Recent products include bubble gum cigars aimed at the 2008 presidential election.
On March 31, 2009, the township filed a Declaration of Taking for the condemnation of the property formerly occupied by Swell Bubble Gum, at 891 Eagle Rd. Under letter dated 6/2/09, the owners of the factory tendered possession of the property to the Township and requested payment of the "estimated just compensation." On 6/10/09, the Board of Commissioners directed that the estimated just compensation, 1.26 million dollars, be remitted to the owners.
From 1964 to 1967, Philadelphia Gum had a license from the National Football League to produce trading cards of leading football players, while Topps produced cards for the rival American Football League. The company also produced a set of 55 self-adhesive stickers of Marvel Comics superheroes, as well as trading cards based upon "World War II," "Men of the Green Berets," "The Story of Robert F. Kennedy," and many others. It briefly produced novelty baseball items, including baseball cards.