Thomas Adams (chewing gum maker)
Thomas Adams (1818–1905), was a 19th-century American scientist and inventor who is regarded as a founder of the chewing gum industry. He eventually joined with well-known chewing gum maker William Wrigley, Jr.
Adams conceived of the idea while working as a secretary to former Mexican leader, Antonio López de Santa Anna. Santa Anna chewed a Mexican plant called chicle, which Adams first tried to make into rubber for items such as tires. When Adams failed at creating a form of rubber suitable for making tires he experimented with chicle to form other things. He added sugar to the chicle creating the forerunner gum that would one day become known as Chiclets, which are still popular today. Adams lived in the West New Brighton neighborhood in Staten Island, New York in the 1860s and 1870s.
- http://www.nypl.org/branch/staten/index2.cfm?Trg=1&d1=1391 Staten Island on the Web: Famous Staten Islanders
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