viernes, 3 de febrero de 2012

THE CHEWING GUM STORY / La historia del chicle

Hi my friends, today we're going to see a new English story.  Do you like chewing gum?  Many of you are going to say: YES, we do.  But do we really know where chewing gum comes from?  How did all start? Is it a modern custom? Let's go and see!

Hola amigos, hoy vamos a ver una nueva historia en Inglés.  ¿Os gusta el chicle?  Muchos de vosotros váis a decir: Sí, nos gusta.  Pero ¿sabemos realmente de donde viene el chichle?  ¿Cómo empezó todo? ¿Es una costumbre moderna?  ¡Vamos a verlo!

An Indian people called "The Mayas" lived in Mexico more than a thousand year ago.  They collected the resin of a tree called "sapodilla" and they used to eat its fruit.  When the resin was dry, it formed a gum that they liked to chew.

When the Spaniards conquered Mexico, they followed the same custom.  They called the gum "chicle" and the people who collected it were called "chicleros".  So, it is from the Spanish word "chicle" that we get the word "Chiclets"!!

In 1869, a famous Mexican general named Antonio Lopes de Santa Ana visited New York.  He brought 250 kg of sapodilla gum with him.  The general liked to chew this gum and at the same time he thought that it could make him rich.  The gum was very elastic so perhaps it could become a substitute for rubber.  Thomas Adams became the general's assistant and he started to experiment but finally, he couldn't use the gum to replace rubber.  The general returned home to Mexico and gave all the gum to Thomas Adams.

Thomas Adams once saw a little girl who was chewing paraffin wax in a pharmacy.  Suddenly, he remembered the Mexican general and his gum.  He talked to the pharmacist and showed him some gum.  Adams asked:  Why don't you sell this? I'm sure it is nicer than paraffin wax!

The pharmacist agreed.  Adams and his 12-year-old son, Horatio, made the gum into strips.  The pharmacist sold them for 1 cent each!
As it was a great success, so the Adams invested $55  to import new stock and build a factory.  THE ADAMS NEW YORK CHEWING GUM COMPANY  was created!  Young Horatio chewed the gum constantly and he was 102 years old when he died in 1956!!!

Many other people began to make gum.  William Whit flavored it with mint.  A dentist, put in naphtha , alcohol and liquorice and sold it as a substitute for toothpaste.
William Wrigley started a brilliant publicity campaign and chewing gum became part of the American way of life!!!

American soldiers brought chewing gum with them in the Second World War in 1944 and gave it to European children.

One of the soldiers was so impressed by the general enthusiasm that chewing gum caused among children and population in general that when he left the army and came back to France, started to manufacture , in 1952,   "Hollywood Chewing Gum" flavored with chlorophyll. His name was C.E. Parfet.

But nowadays, what is new with chewing gum?  There are a lot of kinds of chewing gums:  with sugar, without sugar, fruit flavors, mix flavors, whitening chewing gum, new and strange flavors, etc.  but what do people like to do with chewing gum most?  BUBBLES, of course.  The record for the biggest bubble gum bubble was set by Susan Montgomery in 1985, in California, USA.  It measured 55.8 cm across!

In Britain, people spend around 120 pounds a year on chewing gum.
France is the second-largest producer of chewing gum in the world after the USA.

But not all countries are enthusiastic about gum.  In Singapore and Japan, if you bring your own gum and drop it in the street, you will have to pay a minimum fine of $500!



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