What do penicillin, the microwave, potato chips, and bubble gum all have in common? They were invented by accident. Walter Diemer was an accountant for the Fleer Chewing Gum Company in Philadelphia. When he wasn’t working on the books, he spent his free time mixing new recipes for bubble gum. The problem was that current gums were too sticky and would break apart too easily. He wanted to invent a gum that was less sticky and could be blown into a perfect bubble. In 1928, Diemer mixed a successful batch but failed to write down the recipe. He spent four months trying to duplicate it. Then, in August of that year, he succeeded. The only food coloring available at the factory was pink, so that became the color of his 300-pound batch of bubble gum. Pink has been the standard color ever since. When he brought the first 100 pieces to a candy store, he priced his gum at one penny apiece and sold out in one day. To help sell his gum, Deimer taught store owners how to blow bubbles so they could teach their customers. The Fleer Chewing Gum Company called Deimer’s gum “Dubble Bubble,” and in the first year of production, earned $1.5 million.
Now go to a cocktail party and use this as an icebreaker.