One of the most popular brands of bubble gum is Dubble Bubble. Once packaged creatively with a comic strip wrapped around the sugar covered gum Dubble Bubble can now be found in gumball form making it perfect for candy vending machines. As with many of life's great discoveries Dubble Bubble was found by accident in 1928 by an accountant who worked for the Fleer company. Founded in 1865 by Frank H. Fleer, the chewing gum company was the first to successfully manufacture bubble gum. However, it was an employee named Walter Diemer who came across the recipe for the now iconic Dubble Bubble brand of gum.
Born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Diemer was an accountant by trade but liked to use his spare time for experimenting. One of his hobbies was concocting recipes for chewing gum based off of the original Fleer ingredients. Though founder Frank Fleer had come up with his own bubble gum recipe in 1906 it was shelved due to its being too sticky and breaking apart too easily. He had coined the gum "Bibbler Blubber" but it would be another 20 years until Diemer would use the original idea as the inspiration for his invention.
Just prior to the stock market crash and the Great Depression the executives at Fleer decided to cut costs by manufacturing their own gum base. This move helped encourage Diemer to be more creative with his experimenting and in 1928 he stumbled upon a recipe that was less sticky than standard chewing gum, would not stick to the face when blowing a bubble and could stretch more easily. The only food coloring available at the factory was pink so Diemer had no choice but to use it and the color would go on to become the standard for gum the world over. Using a salt water taffy wrapping machine Diemer decided to individually wrap 100 pieces and brought the stock to a local candy store. The gum was priced at one penny a piece and sold out in one day.
Diemer's recipe was quickly snatched up by the Fleer brass (he never patented the invention and also never received royalties for sales) and the company began selling the gum locally. In 1930 the company added the marketing scheme of wrapping the gum with a comic strip that featured two cartoon twin brother characters Dub and Bub. The brothers would eventually be replaced by Pud in 1950. Production of the gum was halted in 1942 due to the rationing of latex and sugar during World War 2 but by 1951 Fleer was once again mass producing the popular bubble gum.
In 1957 Fleer introduced the first gum 5-pack with Dubble Bubble and was also reaping the benefits of the successful bubble gum blowing contests they sponsored which were televised nationally. The company decided to extend the flavor lines for the gum by adding apple, grape, cherry and watermelon. In 1998 Dubble Bubble was purchased by Concord Confections and in 1999 they introduced Dubble Bubble as a gumball. In 2004 Tootsie Roll acquired Concord and today the legendary gum is now sold in over 50 countries. Not bad for an accountant.
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