1948 Fo-Lee Gum Corp : Superman Bubble Gum

1948 Fo-Lee Gum Corp : Superman Bubble Gum

In June of 1948, the Fo-Lee Gum Corp. of Philadelphia announced a new Superman Bubble Gum. The head chemist of Fo-Lee was Harlan H. Hill, a former employee of Bowman Gum. A tie-in with Columbia Pictures placed an introductory advertisement for the gum in the 1948 Superman film serials starring Kirk Alyn. Participating theaters gave away free pieces of the Superman Bubble Gum to moviegoers.

Since 1987, the Smithsonian Institution has catalogued a Superman Bubble Gum counter display backing in The National Museum of American History.

1948 Fo-Lee Gum Corp : Superman Bubble Gum

A piece of Superman Bubble Gum was sold for a penny or 25 cents for 100 small pieces. Each box of 100 contained four cut-out cardboard panels images of Superman. The thin card panels are approximately 2.25 x 2.75 inches, smaller than a standard size trading card. The panels are not numbered and the backs are blank. The cards are copyrighted 1948 by N.C.P., National Comics Publications, Inc. Ira Schnapp's official Superman logo is skewed on the box and card panels.

1948 Fo-Lee Gum Corp : Superman Bubble Gum

The counter display boxes contained 80, 120, or 200 individually wrapped pieces priced at one cent. The penny gum pieces are equivalent in size to 4 small pieces. The wax gum wrappers measure 2.5 x 5.5 inches.

The bottom of each counter display box contained a larger image of Superman that was awarded to the purchaser of the last piece of gum. The lithographed "Display Award" measures approximately 5 x 7.5 inches. The awards was penciled by Wayne Boring and inked by Stan Kaye. A similar illustration appeared on the cover of Superman #53 (July-August 1948). Recolored postcards that read "Best wishes from your friend Superman" were later distributed to members of the Supermen of America Club. A black and white postcard was released by the Exhibit Supply Co. (ESCO) in 1949.

1948 Fo-Lee Gum Corp : Superman Bubble Gum Display Award

The boxes also contained a promotion sheet advertising Superman premiums from Fo-Lee. The mail-away products included a popular Superman wallet and badge. The embossed  3 x 4.25 inch wallet was made of imported leather by Pioneer. The Superman wallet could be personalized with gold lettering.

1948 Fo-Lee Gum Corp : Superman Bubble Gum Premium Wallet

The die-cut brass and enamel Superman badge is approximately 1.625 inches in diameter. A similar badge was manufactured for The Lone Ranger. Aside from the chain-busting motif, the logo and imagery do not match the usual branding licensed by National or Superman, Inc.

1948 Fo-Lee Gum Corp : Superman Bubble Gum Premium Badge

As incentives, dealers and salesmen were awarded various types of cigarette lighters produced by Ronson. The promotion ended on December 31, 1949.

1948 Fo-Lee Gum Corp : Superman Bubble Gum Dealer Sheet

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