From what tree did Native Americans derive the gum-like resin that would inspire today’s chewing gum?
Way before Hubba Bubba and Big League Chew, Native Americans would chew on spruce tree resin to get their gum fix.
European settlers picked up on the practice, and John Curtis commercialized the product in the late 1840s. Curtis made strips out of the boiled resin, and then he coated them in cornstarch so each piece wouldn’t stick together. However, everyone’s favorite Trident, Eclipse and Juicy Fruit chewing gum brands actually go back to inventor Thomas Adams Sr., who made his product out of a material called chicle. Source: Smithsonian, HISTORY.com
A spruce is a tree of the genus Picea, a genus of about 35 species of coniferous evergreen trees in the family Pinaceae, found in the northern temperate and boreal regions of the earth.