the early days of aviation, pilots flew in open cockpits and had to
not only master a new form of transportation but, also had to brave
the elements. As the power plants and airframe designs evolved the
planes flew higher and pilots had to add pressure changes to the
obstacles they had to overcome. These pilots learned early on that
chewing gum was a simple way to help equalize the inner ear and ease
this uncomfortable and sometimes painful problem. Anyone who has
flown or scuba dives has experienced this. With the advent of
pressurized cabins towards the end of World War II this effect was
lessened but still plaques some flyers even today.
Troughout the golden age of aviation the chewing gum of choice for pilots was Beemans. Invented by Ohio physician Dr. Edward E. Beeman in the late 19th century, made of pepsin powder and chicle, and was originally marketed as an aid to digestion. In 1898, after almost 20 years of limited production and distribution, Beemanís became part of the Adams Company and was mass-produced for the first time.
It became a sign of luck for pilots and early airmen like Howard Hughs and Amelia Earhart would never think of climbing into a cockpit without a pack of Beemans. But, it was the early days of the Space program that earned the pepsin gum itís recognition. General Chuck Yeager chewed Beemanís during just about every significant flight he made in the í40s and í50s. He described that he breathed pure oxygen through his in-flight mask, which made his mouth extremely dry. Beemanís helped keep his mouth moist. However some theorize that he, like so many other pilots of the time, considered it good luck.
So like the pilots before us Pick up a pack of Beemans and ...
........"Never Fly Without It"