Swell Bubble Gum Factory

The Philadelphia Chewing Gum Corporation was formed on August 12, 1947, to manufacture chewing gum, candy, and specialty confectionery products. In 1964, the company signed a deal with the NFL and became notable for its American Football Cards. 

Edward P. Fenimore, Sr. established the company. He was a former professor of engineering at the University of Pennsylvania as well as vice president of Bowman Gum Company. In 1948, the company built its plant in Havertown, PA in Delaware County. The twist-wrapped “Swell” brand pink bubble gum was the initial product. It sold for a penny. Then the company developed the brown colored “El Bubble”. This was a candy cigar and it sold for a nickel. 

In 1954, the company created the Magic Color chewing gum cigarettes. They sold for a dime. Specialty boxes of chewing gum cigars with the candidates’ names were sold during election seasons. Gold Rocks Nugget Bubble Gum, Cry Baby extra-sour gum and various other items were other products that were made by the Company.

The Company had a license from 1964 to 1967 from the National Football League that allowed them to produce trading cards of the leading football players. The company also produced Marvel Comics superheroes adhesive stickers as well as trading cards.

Edward L. Fenimore, Jr., Fenimore’s son, served as president of the Company and for a time, as the Chairman of the National Association of Chewing Gum Manufacturers. Later, Edward’s sons, Edward P. II & Richard L., joined him on the management team. This made the company a third generation family owned and operated business.

Concord Confections bought the Philadelphia Chewing Gum Corporation and its brand names in July 2003. Soon after, they closed the Havertown plant. Tootsie Roll Industries acquired Concord in 2004. 

Products of the Philadelphia Chewing Gum Corporation were made in a 200,000 square foot factory located in Havertown, PA

After the company was sold, the Fenimore family kept ownership of the 6.2 acre former plant property. The Fenimore family began negotiations to develop it. They proposed to the Township to donate part to them for use as a public library site or for other public use and the rest would be re-zoned for commercial use.

In March 2011, a Delaware County board established a fair market value for the property of of $6 million.

In 2011, he vacant building was demolished. The property was leased to the YMCA. The Haverford Area YMCA, a 75,000 square foot recreation facility opened in 2013 in Havertown, PA.

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