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Products of Yesteryear

The growing popularity of mint flavored toothpaste, gum, and candy at the turn-of-the century created a domestic market for high quality peppermint and spearmint oil.


That William Colgate invented modern toothpaste in 1877.

That the native inhabitants of the Americas, long before Columbus arrived, chewed spruce gum - made from a resin that formed on spruce trees when the bark was cut.

Thomas Adams invented modern chewing gum while trying to combine chicle with rubber to create a cheaper substitute for carriage tires.

In 1899, the leading gum manufacturers of that day, including Adams, White, and Beeman, became the America Chicle Company.

William Wrigley, Jr., who did not join this new combination, popularized spearmint flavoring in gum in a pioneering use of mass advertising in 1907.

By 1914, when Wrigley introduced Doublemint gum, he was the leading manfacturer of chewing gum in the United States.

By the 1920s, American Chicle, the William Wrigley Jr. Company, and Beech Nut were what historian Robert Hendrickson (The Great American Chewing Gum Book) has termed "gumdom's big three."

In 1912, Clarence Crane of Cleveland, Ohio invented a mint flavored hard candy that had a strong resemblance to a lifesaving ring that you throw out to someone in distress in the water.

In the 1930s, LifeSavers salesmen made their rounds in distinctive cars shaped like a roll of LifeSavers candy.

LifeSavers experimented with a variety of flavors, but Pep-O-Mint, flavored with mint, was always one of their most popular flavors.

American soldiers in World War I & II inadvertently helped to create a demand abroad for American chewing gum, candy and toothpaste -- and that many of these items were flavored with peppermint or spearmint oils.