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 Chewing Gum

35. Chewing Gum

    We think of chewing gum as a modern American invention. But this is only partly true. For thousands of years people have chewed gum resin, a juice collected from trees. In Mexico, for example, Indians have long chewed chicle, the gum resin from the sapodilla tree.

    In 1850 Mexico and the United States fought a war over Texas. General Antonio Lopez de Santa Ana led the Mexican soldiers. When Mexico lost the war, Santa Ana had to leave his country. He went to live in New York and he took with him a large amount of chicle.

    An American inventor, Thomas Adams, bought some chicle from Santa Ana. He wanted to make the chide into rubber but his plan failed. Adams then decided that chicle was better as something to chew, In 1871 he made and sold the first gum balls. These gum balls were a great success.

    Then, in the 1890s, a man named William Wrigley first made chewing gum as we know it today, William Wrigley had little education or money, but he had an idea. He made gum into flat sticks and added special flavors. Today, Wrigley's Spearmint gum and Juicy Fruit gum are among the most popular chewing gums in America.

    How did modern chewing gum spread from the United States to other countries? During World War I and World War II, the U.S, Army found that chewing gum kept soldiers from getting thirsty. So American soldiers were given chewing gum each day. The soldiers who fought in Europe often gave gum to the people they met. Gum became as popular as it was in the United States. Today, of course, chewing gum can be found around the world.



1. What people often think about the chewing gum?
a. It’s very tasty.
b. It’s very comfortable.
c. It’s American.

2. What did Thomas Adams want to make with chicle?
a. The chide into rubber
b. A house
c. Something for his car

3. What shape did the first chewing gums have?
a. Sticks
b. Pads
c. Balls

4. Who was the first person who made chewing gum as we know it today?
a. Antonio Lopez
b. William Wrigley
c. Thomas Adams

5. When did chewing gum become very popular?
a. During the World Wars
b. During the street performances
c. During the Mexico War

6. In which way can the chewing gum help people?
a. When you are hungry.
b. When you are thirsty.
c. When you are nervous.

7. What is the synonym for the word ‘amount’ (paragraph 2)?
a. Property
b. Quantity
c. Substance
d. Term

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