Definitions

paper chain

Gum wrapper chain

A gum wrapper chain is a paper chain of any length that is made of discarded wrappers from sticks of chewing gum. Each wrapper can be used to make two chain links. This method will create thin links that can easily slide over one another. It is possible to use an intact wrapper, but this creates a bulkier link.

Gary Duschl earned a Guinness World Record for the longest gum wrapper chain, officially measured at 52,913 feet (1,240,000 gum wrappers), on Nov. 3, 2007. As of May 11, 2008, his chain measured 54, 807 feet (1,286,809 wrappers). In Duschl's step-by-step instructions on how to make a gum wrapper chain, he states that it is possible to make a chain, of the same size as that of a gum wrapper, out of a Starburst wrapper.

It is unknown when this fad began or when it reached the height of popularity in the United States. According to Duschl, the fad began in 1965 in Canada. On his site, Duschl posts the lyrics to the song Chewing Gum Wrapper by Jonathan Richman. The song describes the joy of finding discarded chewing gum wrappers and taking them home. The song seems to suggest that those who have made a hobby out of collecting gum wrappers, for whatever purpose, have a gift of finding enjoyment and beauty in something that most other people would find useless.

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