Thursday, May 27, 2010
Thomas was experimenting with chicle, the sap from a South American tree, as a substitute for rubber. After mounting failures, the dejected inventor popped a piece into his mouth. He loved it! As a result, his New York No. 1 became the first mass produced chewing gum in the world.
After spending the day studying coal tar derivatives, Fahlberg left his laboratory and went to dinner. Something he ate tasted particularly sweet, which he traced to a chemical compound he'd spilled on his hand. Best of all, it turned out to be calorie-free. He cut Remsen and the university out of millions of dollars when he secretly patented Saccharin.