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In a little-known chapter of Big Apple history, the Mexican villain of the infamous battle, Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, lived in exile for nearly a decade in the future Big Apple borough.
In an attempt to raise funds, he had brought with him to Staten Island a large quantity of chicle hoping it could be used to replace rubber for tires. Instead, his secretary, Thomas Adams, after noticing that Santa Anna would occasionally chew the substance, conducted a series experiments with the chicle that lead to the development of chewing gum. “Adams sold the gum with the slogan ‘Adams’ New York Gum No. 1 – Snapping and Stretching.’ …The firm was the nation’s most prosperous chewing gum company by the end of the century; it built a monopoly in 1899 by merging with the six largest and best-known chewing gum manufacturers in the United States and Canada, and achieved great success…” (The Encyclopedia of New York City). It was later renamed the American Chicle Company, maker of “Chiclets.”
We used to chew roofing tar as kids.