The other day, I had the good fortune to communicate with Gary Duschl who holds the Guinness Book of World Records for the LONGEST chain made out of gum wrappers. I asked Gary if he would share his experience with the readers of our candy blog and below is an excerpt from his reply.
I find project amazing on many levels, both physically and metaphorically, and it is one of the more interesting uses for recycling candy/gum wrappers – Jon H.Prince, President, CandyFavorites.com
I started the gum wrapper chain on March 11, 1965 while a student in the ninth grade. As some of the kids were making them and I asked them to show me how to do it. My competitive nature took over and I had to have the longest chain in the class, then the school, then the town and I just kept going from there.
My wife and I visited the Ripley Museum in Niagara Falls in 1992 and saw what was on display as a giant gum wrapper chain. My chain dwarfed that one, and after contacting the manager, I found that there was an actual Guinness Record for gum wrapper chains.
I contacted Guinness and they advised as to what I would have to do to register my chain with them. After doing so, I have held the Guinness World Record for the longest gum wrapper chain ever since.
The chain is made up of Wrigley wrappers only but, unfortunately, Wrigley’s has stopped putting wrappers on their gum in North America which makes finding suitable wrappers more challenging.
I have been in and on numerous radio programs, books, newspaper articles and TV shows including the Rosie O’Donnell show. I have recently returned from a press conference and book signing at the Ripley Museum in Times Square. The president of Ripley Entertainment signed the 3 millionth link (1,500,000 wrapper) at a special presentation.
I have been working on the chain now for over 45 years and I do get the odd comment about it being a waste of time although I look at it differently. I worked as a General Manager with the responsibilities for four plants for the last 40 years and have just recently retired. I play golf, baseball, hockey and guitar and have a number of other outside interests.
I work on the chain while relaxing in front of the TV and add to it a little every day. I do this as well as other things, not instead of other things and it is surprising how things grow if you add to them a little at a time on a regular basis.
I have averaged 91 wrappers a day for the last 45 years and the result is a chain 63,527 feet long. It is measured by professional land surveyors every March 11th and I send this new information to Guinness every year so they can update their data base.
I am very proud of my status with Guinness and with Ripley’s. It is a tremendous feeling to be recognized as the best in the world in your field or profession. Guinness has recently nominated my record as one of the top 100 records of the decade. After the polling by Guinness of fans all over the world, my record was voted tops in my category (stunts) and as a result is now included in the Guinness top 10 records of the decade. My ultimate goal is to have my Guinness World Record Gum Wrapper Chain reach a marathon length of 26.2 miles.
My website is www.gumwrapper.com and no, I have not chewed all the gum myself. I have received wrappers from wonderful people all over the world. I also have a video on YouTube which I use to show people how to make their own chains