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. He eventually joined with well-known chewing gum maker William Wrigley, Jr.
Adams conceived the idea while working as a secretary to former Mexican leader Antonio López de Santa Anna. Santa Anna 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 Chiclets, which is still produced today.