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Published on Feb 10, 2017
In 1946, Andrew J Paris was an importer of candy and gum in McAllen,Texas, a town on the Texas/Mexico border. One day while walking down the street, Andy encountered a group of kids scuffling over something. When he stopped and asked them about it, the kids said it was a single piece of bubble-gum being auctioned off for 35 cents a chew. Andy recognised this as an opportunity and immediately drove to Monterrey, Mexico to convince the factories to switch to manufacturing bubble-gum. They agreed and Andy was able to corner the latex market for the entire western hemisphere in 2 days. Andy dumped 5000 tons of bubble-gum on a hungry market and the kids went wild and so did the media. LIFE magazine and Universal Newsreel decended on McAllen and on Feb 3, 1947 LIFE magazine crowned Andy the Bubble Gum King. This led to another call from Hollywood and Andy became technical advisor for Natalie Wood for the bubble blowing scene in "Miracle on 34th Street". Andy had become a worldwide sensation.