Moments in History

Got Any Beemans?


Beeman’s Gum was concocted in the late 19th century by a physician in Ohio named Dr. Edward L. Beeman.  The gum had the two primary ingredients of pepsin powder and chicle, and was originally marketed as an aid to digestion.  In 1898 it was purchased by the American Chicle company, which was later absorbed by Warner-Lambert.  The gum continued in production as Beemans up until 1978, when it was discontinued due to slow sales.  Now the rights to this gum are owned by Cadbury, and it is sporadically available as a nostalgia product.

Perhaps you are thinking to yourself that the packaging and name seem vaguely familiar, but you aren’t really sure why.  Beemans became popular with aviators in the early days of flight, as the antacid qualities of the pepsin helped to calm airsickness stomach issues in flight.  It also had the inherent advantage that any gum gives a flyer of helping to equalize pressure in the ears.  Whatever the exact reasons, it soon became affiliated with flight, and was considered by many to be a good luck gum.  This good luck angle figured into the film ‘The Rocketeer’, and the blockbuster ‘The Right Stuff’.  “Hey Ridley, got any Beemans?”

The retro-throwback versions of the gum no longer contain any pepsin, but it is pretty tasty if you can get your hands on some!  Now that you remember why Beemans seemed familiar too you, you might be saying to yourself, so what exactly does this have to do with this weekend?

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