Curtis & Sons, Chewing Gum

  • C
  • A
  • Mhs8

Curtis & Sons, Chewing Gum

(Now Hub Furniture)

291 Fore Street

For more than 50 years, beginning in 1866, young women rolled out, flavored, sugared, cut, and packaged spruce, pepsin, and peppermint gum for a national market. At the factory’s peak in 1907, between 90 and 115 young women earned between $3.50 and $6.00 a week for a work day that began at 7 a.m. and ended at 5:45 p.m. The wages of the male workers, a minority, were double those of the women. The company provided white aprons, caps, and sleeve protectors for the women and added $1.00 per week for those who continued to work during the summer to keep them from leaving for jobs in seaside and mountain resorts.

Historic photos courtesy of Collections of Maine Historical Society, used by permission of Maine Historical Society. It is exempt from the Creative Commons license of this project.