Mention chewing gum and it reminds of my father

and I smile. Rivergirl had a post about chewing gum  and while I’ve never been much of a gum chewer my mind immediately went back, happily, to my childhood and my father.

Back in time the New York City subway was chock-a-block with subway platform vending machines. You could buy most anything from a subway platform vending machine, from essentials like a comb to candy, tissues, plastic rain hats, juice, your weight and horoscope and even toys and…gum.

My father delivered beer for the Jacob Ruppert Knickerbocker Beer Company, as did his father before him. The facility was located on the upper East Side in an area called Yorkville. I don’t know how he commuted there when we lived in the Bronx but when we moved to Queens he took mass transit – a 5 block walk to the bus stop, a bus to the subway and probably at least one train change. It was a hike and he left home at 4 in the morning.

Ah, but when he came home. He had the newspapers with him – The Daily News, The Mirror and the Journal American. And best of all, hidden in his pockets somewhere was California Fruit Gum. Little squares of chewing gum, 1¢ from  a vending machine. It was a game we played. He handed over the papers (oooh, all the comics to read!) and then we waited.  Would there be gum? We waited expectantly, he patted his pockets, looking puzzled and then, and then – YES! California Fruit Gum!

The gum looked like this –

The vending machine looked like this –

Photo was taken from an auction site and shows it in someone’s home on display.

You put your penny in the slot under the kind of gum you wanted – we always and ever wanted California Fruit.

I’m telling you that was the highlight of our day – Daddy’s home! And California Fruit gum!

~  ~  ~  ~  ~  

Interesting Links – (All links will open in a new tab/window. No need to use back buttons or go off-site)

History of Chewing Gum

Vintage Gum Brands

A Tour of the Jacob Ruppert Brewery – 1939

Remnants of Old Brewery

Jacob Ruppert

20 thoughts on “Mention chewing gum and it reminds of my father

  1. Fun memories. I’ve never heard of that kind of gum. I checked out the vintage gum brands and there were a lot I remember but quite a few that I’ve never heard of.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I enjoyed reading your memories! I clicked on the links and read them too. It amazes me how many inventions and products there were when no computers existed! I can’t imagine how they made all those different types and flavors of gum. The information on Jacob Ruppert was fascinating too. Fun post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, you know sometimes I do fun…LOL For me, I have a lot of memories of subway platform vending machines…And those old time chewing gums? – I remember way too many of them – I keep forgetting I am vintage too!


  3. Hi, thanks for the “follow” on my blog. I m following you and look forward to getting to know you and read your posts.

    Love this post. I remember Teaberry gum always being by the Black Jack gum in the store. As a kid, I chewed gum constantly. Fruit Stripe and Juicy Fruits were favorites. As an adult, if I chew it, it is barely for 5 minutes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I should go back and tag some the posts that I imported from my Blogger blog – I’m Italian-American – Sicilian/Napolitano (not much difference there, eh?). I often talk about food! Surprise, surprise!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Please do! I have been attempting to make my grandma’s sauce for years. I am close and try something new each time I make it. I’ve tried to incorporate things from other Sicilian friends recipes. One day, I’ll get it

        I’m always looking for good food ideas…lol

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Ehhh – my Silician Grandmother was not a great cook, it seems Sicilians breaded and fried anything that didn’t move to fast! My father was a fabulous cook, (Neapolitan side of the family) he had to teach my mother how to cook BUT my mother could bake – hoo-boy could she bake – right down to homemade cannolis shell and all. We are coming up to Easter (aren’t we?) and I’d give an arm for Easter pie (

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Lol. I loved when my grandma breaded steak. I hated her meatloaf.

            My Grandma was quite the baker, too! She had dementia and did almost everything from memory. I found a few recipes, but so many were missing. I am going to check out that pie!!

            Liked by 1 person

  4. I remember in Australia buying gum from the gumball machines that used to be popular in the 70’s and of course the american Bazooka gum you could buy from the store although way back they were huge next to Hubba which l could buy in the UK. I used to be a bubblegum blowing fan and even entered competitions 🙂

    Good memories indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I was never much of a gum chewer – even bubble gum. Then there was that horrendous cardboard bubble gum you got with baseball cards – the worst! And yes, I collected baseball trading cards.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh yes l also remember that particular gum. In Australia it used to be a flat type of gum and they were at the time not with baseball cards but monster cards – same thing – just a different subject 🙂

        In the end you mostly bought the gum ONLY for those dang cards hahaha.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I remember Chiclets,,Dentyne and Pepsin… but not California fruit. For me every Friday meant dad bringing home a new comic book from the newspaper shop on the corner. Those were wondrous places for a kid… full of penny candy that made you real like a millionaire if you had a dollar.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am more than a bit older than you so my memories are a bit different. We had candy stores on every corner, and they sold EVERYTHING and had a soda fountain and some even had cooked food – nothing complicated – grilled cheese, burgers, fries. I think I wrote about them once – ( but a dollar to spend in the candy store? Unheard of when I was a kid – a dollar was a fortune. We got 25 cents to go the movies on Saturday – we brought a bag lunch, 15 cents to get into the movie, which by the way lasted from 11am to 4 or 5 pm – 5 cents for popcorn or a soda and 5 cents to spend on penny candy – and 5 cents bought you a bagful of candy I can tell you!

      Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.