TABLE OF CONTENTS
Andrew J. Paris Papers, 1945-1972
Andrew J. Paris (1919-1997) was born in Detroit, Michigan, in 1919. The son of Greek immigrants, Paris worked in the family tobacco store from the age of seven. During World War II, he began importing candies from Mexico to help his family's business. During this time, he established connections in the latex industry around Monterrey. After the war, latex, a crucial ingredient in bubble gum, remained in short supply. By 1947, Paris had cornered the latex market in Monterrey, Mexico, and flooded the Americas with affordable gum — 5,000 tons of it in the span of only a few years.
Paris was dubbed "the bubble gum king" by Life magazine. He became a Hollywood celebrity overnight, teaching child actress Natalie Wood how to blow bubbles for her role in the film Miracle on 34th Street. Soon other corporations caught up with Paris, as did the Internal Revenue Service.
Paris attempted to innovate his way out of trouble in the early 1950s. However, several products flopped, including licorice-flavored gum and candy-coated gum on a stick. In 1955, he was forced to liquidate his factory in McAllen to settle back taxes. He moved into the vending machine business, but never achieved the same success he had enjoyed in the late 1940s. Paris died in 1997.
Correspondence, business papers, financial documents, photographs, advertising materials, audio materials, and a scrapbook comprise the Andrew J. Paris papers, 1945-1972.
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Access to audio materials by appointment only; please contact sound archivist for more information.
A portion of these materials are stored remotely. Advance notice required for retrieval. Contact repository for retrieval.
Conditions Governing Use
There are no use restrictions on this collection. Publisher is responsible for complying with copyright law.
Andrew J. Paris Papers, 1945-1972, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin
This collection was processed by Jessi Fishman, January 2020.