Biography of Diemer

Walter E. Diemer was born on January 5, 1904, and was born and raised in Philidelphia, Pennsylvania. Here, he attended high school and married his first wife, Adelaide. He had two children with her, one son and one daughter. Diemer had revolved his life around his invention of bubble gum, and towards the end of his career, he became one of the top-notch people in the bubble gum industry. But, due to old age, he retired, and he and his wife, Adelaide, moved to Ocean City, New Jersey. After this, both of his children and his wife died. Later on, Diemer moved to a retirement home where he met his second wife, Florence Freeman Kohler. Diemer died on January 9, 1998, due to congestive heart failure.
Walter E. Diemer: Happy With his Dubble Bubble
In this biography, you will learn about Walter Diemer and how he came about inventing bubble gum. "It was an accident. I was doing something else, and ended up with something with bubbles," says Diemer. In 1926, Diemer worked at the Fleer Company, which was a company that sold both candy and regular chewing gum (which was invented by Thomas Adams and the original idea was brought up by none other than the Mexican leader, Santa Anna.) In 1928, the word got around that the company wasn't doing so well, and the president of the company knew he either had to cut employees or cut the costs. Since the Fleer Company buys its gum base already made (what chewing gum is made of), the president thought if they made their own gum base, it could save some money.

So, the president started experimenting with the gum. Now, Diemer worked on the third floor of the building and there was only one phone (which was on the first floor), so when Mr. President gets a call, he asked Diemer to stay upstairs and watch his small batch of gum. The president of the Fleer Company got very tired of trying to make his own gum, but Diemer was in love with it, so he worked and worked at this for about a year, and every time he made a batch, he would chew a piece just to make sure it blew nice bubbles. He got this idea probably from when the Fleer Company had made bubble gum before. The founder of the company, Frank Henry Fleer, made his own bubble gum that was called Blibber Blubber, but unfortunately, it was too sticky. Plus, the bubble was easily broken, so he eventually gave up on it.

Once, Diemer actually did make a nice batch of bubble gum. It was nice and soft and the gum didn't stick to his face after blowing the bubble. He passed pieces around to his co-workers in the office, but by the end of the day, the batch was too hard to blow bubbles anymore. Good thing was, Diemer never gave up. He continued to work for four more months, and it paid off. Diemer started to add latex to his gum (this comes from plants) to make it stay fresh and stretchy; did you know that this method is still used today? He saw that this batch of gum blew bubbles just as well as the last time, and he was so excited that he threw 300 lbs. of ingredients into the companies big mixers. Thankfully, the gum mixed well, but he did forget to put the food coloring in.

So, this next time he made another batch, he put in the three hundred pounds, just like last time, and added the only food coloring they had in the building that day; pink. This is why most of the bubble gum today is made in a rosey, pink color. Now it was time to test the gum out in the public, so the Fleer Company wrapped up the gum, in what usually wraps the saltwater taffy, and named it Dubble Bubble. On Decmeber 26, 1928, the Fleer Company gave one hundred pieces to a candy store located at 26 Schenectady Street in Philidelphia. The small candy store sold the gum for one cent a piece, and by the end of the day, they were sold out. Soon enough, Dubble Bubble became so successful that within the first year of selling, the Fleer Company earned over a million and a half dollars worth of bubble gum. Unfortunately, Diemer was never patented for his invention.

Dubble Bubble made Walter Diemer so famous that he became the Senior Vice President of the Fleer Company. Because of how new this bubble gum was, Diemer was the one responsible for teaching the spokesmen how to blow bubbles so they could freely demonstrate their product to each store they went to. That next year, 1929, was the strike of an economic depression. Though, people could still go out and buy their one cent piece of gum. Diemer became extremely busy with trying to find other factories on the Eastern Coast that he could make more Fleer Dubble Bubble gum, since it was hard to keep up with all the people that buy constantly. It all turned out to be a very popular invention.

"Walter Diemer - Level 2." Walter Diemer - Level 2. Web. 09 May 2012.
"Inventor Walter E. Diemer Biography." Inventor Walter E. Diemer Biography. Web. 09 May 2012.
"Bubble Gum History - Invention of Bubble Gum." Bubble Gum History - Invention of Bubble Gum. Web. 09 May 2012.

Economic Impact from Dubble Bubble

When it comes to gum, there is one thing you must know and that is the basic five ingredients; first theres the gum base (includes five smaller ingredients), sugar, corn syrup, softener, and flavorings and/or food coloring. The gum base has different ingredients that you probably won’t find in your pantry at home. The very first ingredient in the gum base is the Polyisobutylene. This is a type of rubber or latex that adds to the stretchiness of the gum (and it’s also the same type of rubber used to mad basketballs; that sounds delicious right?). Then theres the Polyvinyl Acetate which look like little clear marbles and it just helps to add to the texture of the gum. After that is your regular, old wax that lets the gum stay nice and hard in room temperature, yet smooth and silky when heated in your mouth. Then is your rosin which comes from pine trees. This gives the gum that extra stick to stay together. And then the last thing is the powder so that way the gum doesn’t completely stick inside your mouth.

Now that you know everything there is to know about what is inside gum, I should tell you all about what used to come with it. When my mom was a little girl, she loved Dubble Bubble, but there was one thing she mentioned to me; she said that whenever you bought a pack of bubble gum it also came with sports-training cards either in the pack or on the back. Whenever you didn’t want the card anymore, you could go in and trade it with a new one. Because of this, bubble gum skyrocketed in the 20th century right above Tootsie Rolls. Now, the price to make the gum itself has always been fairly low. And whenever there was a big demand for gum, it caused a mass production, which lowered the costs even more, altogether. In fact, in the 1970s, the price of the earlier listed ingredients declined drastically. Unfortunately, these natural resources have begun to become scarce, which means in the future, we’ll have to start producing our own ingredients. This might increase the cost of the production of gum, and rapidly.

You know when you have a group project, but you’re always the one who ends up doing all the work? Well, Diemer was the same way with his invention of gum. He never technically had his own private investors for his product, but he had the support of the Fleer Company behind him. Since the company was already trying to produce chewing gum (with the same basic ingredients), it was easy to find money from the other products they sold (like the novelty cards). Diemer was not completely on his own, but with a little help from Fleer. Truly, Diemer had no private investors; he was independently financed from his company.

Unfortunately, the business of the Fleer Company was going downhill, the Dubble Bubble gum saved it pretty well. Considering they made almost two million dollars within the first year of selling, Fleer must have been pretty successful. The Dubble Bubble gum was only sold for one cent a piece, so back in 1929 (the beginning of the Great Depression) when money was scarce, one cent was a big deal. If you got one cent, you went out and got your most favorite thing in the world, which for most people was bubble gum. So in technical terms, you could say people were spending more money because most people didn’t have a lot of money at the time. On the other hand, however, despite the major setback in money, you weren’t really spending more money; you were just losing it quickly. Technically, you’d be spending the same amount, but losing it rapidly because of the depression.

When you see the words, one cent, you don’t necessarily put the word, expensive, along with it. To us one cent is, just a penny. To many people back in the 1920s and 1930s it wasn’t. A penny was like twenty-five cents to us, where a quarter can make all the difference in the world. Most small candies, in our present time, are around twenty-five or fifty cents, and if it’s like a pack of gum, it’s around ninety-nine cents to a $1.50, depending on the brand. And that can be comparable to a penny back then. The average salary in a month between the 1920s and 1930s was about $100, and that’s really not a lot after you think about it. Now, back then, it may have been quite a bit, but they had bills to pay, and a family to take care of as well. So let’s make this easy; here is an equation:

In the 1920s the average salary a month is 100 and a piece of gum is one cent. To set this equation up, it would look like this:

s=100m – (.01) g

Where s equals the salary you make, m is the amount of months, and g is how many pieces of gum you buy. If you worked for five months and bought 15 pieces of gum, what would be your salary?

s=100(5) – (.01)15

s=500 – (.01)15

s=500 – .15


If you worked 12 months and bought 75 pieces of gum, what would your salary be then?

s=100(12) – (.01)75

s= 1200 – (.01)75

s= 1200 – .75


For the present time, a factory worker receives a salary of $3000 a month. If he/she bought 15 pieces of gum for ninety-nine cents apiece for 5 months, what would their salary be?

s= 3000m – (.99) g

This would end up being your equation, so now plug in the numbers and you should get:

s= 3000(5) – (.99)15

s=15000 – (.99)15

s=1500 – 14.85


If they worked for 12 months and bought 75 pieces of gum, what would their salary be?

s= 3000(12) – (.99)75

s= 36000 – (.99)75

s= 36000 – 74.25

s= $35,925.75 Here are two charts also comparing the salary in the 1920s and in our present time.

Salary in 1920s
X: Time in Months
Y: Cost

Present Salary
X: Time in Months
Y: Cost
*Keep in mind, these salaries do not include any other purchases throughout the year.

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Cultural Impact of Dubble Bubble

Dubble Bubble was one of the most creative inventions of the early 1900s. Everyone loved it, there's no doubt about it. But, there was such a thing as chewing gum before bubble gum was even thought of. When Santa Anna and his troops were chewing on what looked like a piece of rubber, Thomas Adams was suspicious and curious. He looked into the thought and tried to figure out what this proccess was. In the end he accidently came up with chewing gum, which was way beyond what he thought he'd inventing

Here is a small timeline to start this section off:
1/5/1904: Birth---------------------------1928: Bankruptcy----------------------------1929: The Great Depression-----------------------------------------------------

--------------------1926: Fleer Company------12/26/28: Corner Store Sell-Out--------------------------------------------------------------1998: Death

Walter Diemer was born on January 5, 1904. Twenty-two years later he would become an assistant to the Fleer company and become successful in producing bubble gum.
Kids Blowing Gum: Living the Life

Fleer Company:
The Fleer Company was founded by Frank Fleer. Originally, the Fleer Company was a family owned business until it opened up to the public and became a privately owned company. At the time, Gilber Mustin was the president of the Fleer Company and Diemer was his assistant.
Fleer Company: Multiple Products!

Unfortunately, two years later, Fleer almost went bankrupt because of wasting money buying a gum base from another company. Mustin was determined to create his own gum base to save money (because of how cheap it really was) but soon got bored, so Diemer took over in making the gum base. He soon became successful in producing the very first batch of the now loved Dubble Bubble.
Bankruptcy: Just to See How it Is

Corner Store Sell-Out:
On December 26, 1928, the Fleer Company gave a batch of 100 pieces to a small store in Philidelphia. According to the public reaction, everyone loved the idea of bubble gum. By the end of the afternoon, the small and simple store was sold out of Dubble Bubble.
No More: Ran Out of Gum!

The Great Depression:
The Great Depression was said to have originally started in the early 1920s, but it didn't really take place until 1929. The depression lasted until 1941 (the beginning of WWII for the U.S.). This caused a little trouble for the Fleer Company, but they fought through it for their favorite buyers.
The Great Depression: The Cold Times

Throughout his life, Diemer was very successful with his new invention of Dubble Bubble. He became the vice president of the Fleer Company and lived his life making gum until his family died. He soon moved to a retirement home where he met his second wife. After a few years together, Diemer died due to a heart condition.
Walter: Dies as a Legend

One thing people don't really think about is how historical bubble gum is. Back during the 1920s, gum was the best thing in the world. And then in the Great Depression, gum was heaven. There was no question about it, gum was a big hit in the 1920s. Although it might not have changed lives of your average person, it sure did give them comfort during these harsh times. And it gave the workers at the Fleer Company hopes that they could keep their jobs and keep getting paid. Money was scarce, and having a job was a huge life saver. Not many people had the opprotunity to work at a big hit factory, but lucky enough, these people got to. To everyone else, a piece of gum was a dream. It may not have changed their lives physically, but the flavor that melted in their mouth sure did bring them comfort.

Who doesn't love Dubble Bubble? There doubfully is anyone who doesn't like bubble gum, accept for the people who haven't tasted it yet. Dubble Bubble was a loveable (and chewable) invention from the start. It had the right appeal, scent, and taste to it, and it was something that everyone could enjoy. The first afternoon of Dubble Bubble open to the public was no where near bad. As being sold out sounds like a place where you don't want to be, for a business and factory worker, it's right where you want to be. People had loved chewing gum, so why not love bubble gum? It was so much more fun than chewing gum anyway. It was fun, challenging, and tasty all at the same time, and nothing could beat that.

Now, if you made a very successful invention, you wouldn't want anyone stealing your idea. So you recieve a patent. A U.S. patent is a document that basically says no one else can try to sell or import your product without your permission, otherwise, it would be considered plagiarism. It's like a Copyright to a book or a movie; no one can say a quote or try and sell a monolouge without either giving credit to that movie or book, and/or getting permission from the producers or publishers. So it gives the inventor all rights to protect its product. Although now, you can get a patent by filling out an application to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Accept, Diemer decided not to get a patent for his bubble gum. Dubble Bubble has never been patented before, but that doesn't mean you can go ahead and remake it, because that won't work.

Research Websites:
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Picture Websites:
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