Saturday, June 29, 2024

Cocktail TIme

Every once in a while I like to bring Bowman into the mix here since its been a Topps brand since 1956.  The name didn't really get much use after the acquisition until a set of Baseball cards using the brand was released in 1989 and eventually became a big hit for Topps.  The Blony bubble gum brand was also put into various uses by Topps through some time in the early Seventies. But I'm not here to talk about all that, instead I'd like to look at some older Bowman gum products.

Warren Bowman was a very interesting man who had already worked at a number of professions by the time he was 30. In 1927 he moved his fledgling confectionery company from Lansing, Michigan to Philadelphia after introducing a chewing gum called Ju-Ce-Kiss.  I managed to find a scan of a wrapper but it's a rare one:

I really like that $50,000 tagline!

While I don't plan to look at Blony for this post, as I have covered it somewhat previously and plan to do a much deeper dive at some point, Warren Bowman had it in the marketplace not long after moving to the City of Brotherly Love and in May of 1932 had formed and capitalized Gum, Inc. who had a decade long run as the premier manufacturer of bubble gum cards before World War 2.  Blony was introduced around this time as well.

Bowman had his ups-and-downs, even at his own firm but kept cranking out bubble gum until the war throttled his sugar allotments.  He rebranded as Bowman Gum, Inc. in August of 1943 and pivoted to "adult" gums under the "Warren's" name as the conflict raged. In 1943 he came up with Cin-A-Mint, intended primarily as a post-smoke palate and breath cleanser.:

You can see corn syrup and artificial flavors were in use:

The same year saw "Fruit" Cocktail gum, another wartime mélange:

Then 1947 saw a Mint Cocktail gum introduced:

Breathtaking was only one superlative:

Bowman also re-established his bubble gum line in 1947, with Bub:

All sorts of ingredients in this one!

1948, of course saw the reintroduction of Bowman's trading cards, as the U.S. returned to a normal manufacturing footing.  Bub was around for a bit and in 1950 saw this particular combo offered:

Nice marketing idea:

I hope to delve into the many vagaries of Bub at some point down the road as well but will leave off for now.

Warren Bowman exited his company in 1951 and moved to Florida to develop real estate and work on various food products and packaging innovations before passing away in 1962 at the age of 67.

1 comment:

John Bateman said...

It is funny they were selling a cocktail gum. It made me wonder where the word came from. According to AI:

French egg cup
Antoine-Amedée Peychaud, the creator of Peychaud's Bitters, may have served his guests a cognac and bitters mixture in a French egg cup called a coquetier. English customers may have mispronounced the word, eventually settling on "cocktail".

I should have known the French were involved with this.