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The John A. Paris Collection, no. 2 - Wedding, 1947

John Paris

Silent | 1947

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  •  Friends and family gathered outside the church before the ceremony 
  •  Newlyweds and guests enjoying dinner at the wedding reception 
  •  Wedding guests dancing 
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  • The Bubble Gum King... The Bubble Gum King
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This home movie from the John A. Paris collection captures the family celebrating a wedding in 1947. Family members can be seen in the bridal party, posing for photographs, and enjoying dinner and dancing at the reception.

In McAllen, Texas in 1946, 27 year old Andrew J. Paris realized the lack of inexpensive bubblegum on the market, and, seizing the opportunity, began the Paris Gum Corporation of America. He opened his factory in McAllen in 1947, mass producing his gum and coining the idea of blowing bubbles with your chewing gum. He sold his gum in 5 cent packs that could be broken into 6 pieces and in individual, 1-cent sticks. Paris let the public know that the chewing gum shortage was over by pulling publicity stunts such as dropping 5,000,000 sticks of gum at South Water Market in Chicago. Paris Bubblegum was a smash hit, and overnight Andy Paris became known as The Bubblegum King; within 16 months he had made himself a millionaire. Paris was an international figure of the late 1940s; he was not only a hero to gum-chewing children everywhere, but was also interviewed and photographed often in Hollywood and socialized with celebrities. Due to the international success of his bubblegum and his 13 gum factories in Mexico, Paris fell under the suspicions of the Cold War era American government. His fame and fortune diminished quickly as he was repeatedly questioned, audited, and fined by the government. Although Paris Bubblegum was at one time a popular sensation, it has largely been forgotten in the public memory.