Indians in different parts of the Americas chewed the saps of various trees. New England Indians chewed spruce gum, and the Indians of Mexico chewed the rubbery sap of the sapodilla tree, which they called chicle. The whites were not satisfied merely to chew this substance without some type of extra stimulation from it, so they added massive amounts of sugar.
New Yorker Thomas Adams managed to make it into a commercial product after the Civil War and built the first successful chewing-gum factory in the 1880s. In its new sweetened form, chewing gum joined tobacco and cola drinks as American products that spread around the world.