Thomas Adams first experimented with making chewing gum using chicle, a natural latex obtained from the sapodilla tree. The tree sap was traditionally used by the indigenous peoples of Central America for chewing. He eventually developed a successful recipe and started producing and selling Kis-Me gum in 1892. The name “Kis-Me” was reportedly inspired by the gum’s unique softness, which made it easier to kiss with fresh breath.
From Concept to Company
Adams initially manufactured his chewing gum products under the name Adams New York Chewing Gum Company and later founded the American Chicle Company in 1899 to manufacture and distribute his gum products on a larger scale. The American Chicle Company was initially based in New York City, where Adams had set up his first gum factory. Area ballparks displayed Kis-Me ads alongside the likes of Cracker Jack.
The actual recipe for Kis-Me Gum is not known. However, it is believed to have contained chicle as its main ingredient, along with various flavorings and sweeteners. Chicle itself does not have a strong flavor, but it is known for its ability to freshen breath by helping to stimulate the production of saliva. This helps to wash away bacteria and food particles that can cause bad breath.
It’s likely that Adams also added other ingredients to enhance the flavor and freshening effects of the gum. For example, many modern chewing gums contain mint, which is known for its cooling and refreshing properties. Other ingredients commonly used in gum include sweeteners like sugar or artificial sweeteners, flavorings such as fruit extracts or essential oils, and additives like glycerin, which can help to keep the gum moist and fresh for longer.
Adams died in 1905 following surgery. The the American Chicle Company continued until 1914. Then the company was acquired by Warner-Lambert, a pharmaceutical company that was expanding into the consumer products market. Under Warner-Lambert’s ownership, American Chicle continued to grow and develop new chewing gum brands, including Chiclets and Dentyne.. Somewhere along the way, the name “Kis-Me” was kissed good-bye.
- Year Started: 1892
- Year Ended: 1914
- Origin Of Name: Product supposed to make you more kissable.
- Location Sales: United States
- Brand Name Predecessor: N/A
- Brand Name Successor: Dentyne
- Owner Original: Thomas Adams
- Owner While In Use: Thomas Adams
- Owner Successor: Warner-Lambert
- Year Resurrected: N/A
- What’s Popular Today: Trident
- Naics Code: 311340
- Location Headquarters: New York, New York, USA