Did you know the first commercial chewing gum was sold in Maine? In 1848, John B. Curtis and his brother manufactured State of Maine Pure Spruce Gum atop a stove in Bradford, Maine, mostly from the sap of spruce trees. By 1850, Curtis expanded his production of spruce gum by producing such flavors as 200 Lump Spruce, American Flag, Trunk Spruce, and Yankee Spruce. However, the popularity of spruce gum waned, as the gum tasted too much like, well, spruce.
- John C.L. Morgan
P.S. I've been asked why I refer to the Presumpscot Watering Hole, the online discussion board of riverbankrepublic.com, as the place "where Westbrook gathers to chew the spruce gum." Well, here's your answer: I thought it would be more creative and applicable (this a site about Westbrook, Maine after all) than something like "chew the fat."
(Update: According to one my readers, another reason spruce gum ultimately failed is its toughness. Besides having a sprucy palette, it also had a reputation for pulling chewers' teeth out.)