Welcome to another Back to School Week on Papergreat! Have you memorized your new locker combination yet? And did you remember your lunch money?
Please remember that there's no gum-chewing on school property. All that nasty chicle ends up underneath the desks or in other unseemly locations, which is just grody to the max.
The flattened gum wrapper measures 2½ by 1¾ inches. In addition to the cartoon representation of Jonah and the whale, which serves as the Dubble Bubble Quiz, some of the text includes:
- YOUR DUBBLE BUBBLE FORTUNE: YOU EXCEL IN GAMES OF ALL KINDS AND ARE LIKED BECAUSE YOU PLAY FAIRLY.
- TRY BOTH FLAVORS - SWEET SPICE AND TASTY FRUIT.
- ©FRANK H. FLEER CORP.
There's also an offer for six personalized pencils, which can be obtained by sending five Dubble Bubble outer wrappers (not the comics, of course!) and 25¢ to an address in Philadelphia.
Finally, the number 1 appears in the lower-right corner, possibly representing the first in this particular series of Dubble Bubble quizzes.
Dubble Bubble dates to 1924, when it was first produced in Philadelphia by Fleer. It was invented by Walter Diemer, and here is its origin story, via Wikipedia:
"[In 1928,] after four months of trying to mimic his first success he finally made a 300 pound batch of what would become Dubble Bubble. The only food coloring available at the factory was pink, so Diemer had no choice but to use it, and the color would go on to become the standard for gum for the world over. Using a salt-water taffy-wrapping machine Diemer decided to individually wrap 100 pieces and brought the stock to a local candy store. The gum was priced at one penny apiece and sold out in one day. Before long, the Fleer Chewing Gum Company began making bubble gum using Diemer’s recipe, and the gum was marketed as 'Dubble Bubble' gum. Diemer’s bubble gum was the first-ever commercially sold bubble gum, and its sales surpassed 1.5 million dollars in the first year."Apparently, comic strips were included with Dubble Bubble from almost the very beginning, and more than 1,000 different comics have been published over the decades.
A terrific website called Bubblegum Comics details the histories of the Fleer Funnies inside Dubble Bubble, Bazooka Joe, Tommy Swell's Gang and Archie and His Pals. The page featuring the Fleer Funnies has about two dozen examples from over the years. Reading that history and looking at the samples, I believe the Dubble Bubble wrapper featured today might only date to the early 1970s. (The reference to sending 25¢ also factors into that.)
This 1992 article from The (Allentown) Morning Call by Harry L. Rinker has a few additional details on collecting Dubble Bubble comics.
As a final treat, here's a look at the awesome endpapers illustration from "Elson-Gray Basic Readers Book Six."