Thomas Adams (May 4, 1818 – February 7, 1905) was a 19th-century American scientist and inventor who is regarded as a founder of the chewing gum industry. His chewing gum company, Adams, became American Chicle Company, and eventually was purchased by Warner-Lambert, Pfizer, and then Cadbury.

Adams conceived the idea while working as a secretary to former Mexican leader Antonio López de Santa Anna, who chewed a natural gum called chicle. Adams first tried to formulate the gum into a rubber suitable for tires. When that didn't work, he made the chicle into a chewing gum called New York Chewing Gum.

In 1870, Adams created the first flavored gum, black licorice, which he named Black Jack (gum). In 1871, Adams patented the first chewing gum making machine. In 1888, his gum was the first to be sold in vending machines.

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