Sunday, June 12, 2011

Bazooka and Dubble Bubble Gum in Liberty

Chewing gum and bubble gum were always favorite purchases "uptown" at the grocery or filling station in Liberty.  Speaking of gum, who can forget Bazooka and Dubble Bubble Gum?  Remember Bazooka Joe and the little comics included with Bazooka Bubble Gum?  Do you remember the comics with Dubble Bubble?  They featured Dub and Bub, replaced by Pud in 1950 (I don't remember them).  I chewed Bazooka.  It was a rectangular package.  The Dubble Bubble had the wrapped ends and was round like a Tootsie Roll.

The two bubble gums are competitors, so thinking back 50 or more years may yield some fog, but I remember both brands and the comics/coupons in Bazooka.  I collected them for some reason, but don't remember if I ever mailed in the coupons with or without money to get stuff.  (I do remember redeeming coupons for a decoder ring that kids could use with a TV show- that was slick- but I forgot the show).

Blowing bubbles was more fun with a good sized piece of gum like these two favorites.  The gumballs from gumball machines were a bit weak for bubbles.  We kids enjoyed brief bubble competitions to see who could blow the biggest bubble.  I don't remember any super champions in the neighborhood, but the competition was gender neutral with Sylvia, Bobby W, Mike, Donna and I doing our best for the biggest bubble.  Other Liberty eras probably had their own bubble traditions.  What were yours?

Topps and Fleer were the competitiors making the bubble gum and, later, the baseball cards that included their gum to entice us into becoming card collectors.  Ever buy a ten-15 year old box of  sports cards with gum and actually chew the gum?  It was like cardboard gum (since I did it -too cheap to throw away the gum initially).

Fleer invented bubble gum years after they were a leading chewing gum company.  Later, they were bought by Tootsie Roll Company.   Here is a history of Double Bubble Gum from Wikipedia:
"Dubble Bubble is a brand of bubble gum invented in 1928 by Philadelphia-based Fleer. Walter E. Diemer — an accountant at Fleer — enjoyed experimenting with recipes during his free time. In an interview a few years before his death, he said, "It was an accident". In 1937, the gum went on the market nationally. It featured a comic strip that came with the gum starting in 1930, featuring twin brothers Dub and Bub. They were replaced by a new character named Pud in 1950.

Dubble Bubble was distributed in military rations during World War II until 1942. Due to war efforts, latex and sugar became scarce, briefly putting a halt to bubble gum manufacturing in the U.S. By 1951, Fleer was again able to manufacture Dubble Bubble, and in 1954, the company began sponsoring bubble gum blowing contests, which grew in popularity and were eventually televised. In 2000, this spirit was resurrected when Concord Confections, which bought Dubble Bubble in 1998, began a nationwide bubble gum blowing contest for children aged 12 and younger in Wal-Mart stores across America. The contest ended after 2005.
Dubble Bubble was introduced as the first five-pack of gum in 1957, and began selling gumballs in 1999. Fleer eventually extended the line to apple, grape, cherry and watermelon flavors.

When Concord Confections bought the Dubble Bubble name from Fleer in 1998, they did not use Fleer's original 1928 Dubble Bubble recipe, and comic strips were discontinued; Pud remained mascot. In August 2004, Tootsie Roll expanded its presence in the bubble gum category by acquiring Concord Confections. Today, Dubble Bubble continues to grow, with Tootsie adding product extensions like Dubble Bubble Mini Tubs and Halloween Combo packaged gumballs and expanding distribution globally. The gum is sold in 50 countries.
The bubble gum creation process was shown on an episode of How It's Made."

From Wikipedia about Bazooka Bubble Gum:  "It was first marketed shortly after World War II in the U.S. by the Topps Company of Brooklyn, New York. The gum was packaged in a patriotic red, white, and blue color scheme. Beginning in 1953, Topps changed the packaging to include small comic strips with the gum, featuring the character "Bazooka Joe". There are 50 different "Bazooka Joe" comic-strip wrappers to collect. Also on the comic strip is a fortune and an offer for a premium and a fortune.[1] The product has been virtually unchanged in over 50 years."

The comics with the bubble gum have an interesting history that is reviewed here:
for Bazooka Joe
for Dubble Bubble

Which one did you chew?  How big were your bubbles?  Do you still chew it?  And blow bubbles?

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