Premium Membership is now 50% off! Wrigley also moved quickly into foreign nations. Although a newcomer to the industry, Wrigley was offered a place in the trust, but he refused. William Wrigley Jr. was born on September 30, 1861 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to William and Mary A. Ladley, second-generation Americans. Omissions? In short order, Wrigley became the biggest gum manufacturer in the world. It was officially renamed Wrigley Field in 1926, in honor of its owner. William Wrigley, Jr., (born Sept. 30, 1861, Philadelphia, Pa., U.S.—died Jan. 26, 1932, Phoenix, Ariz.), American salesman and manufacturer whose company became the largest producer and distributor of chewing gum in the world. Copyright © 2020 LoveToKnow. Wrigley, however, passed away in 1932 and full control of the team passed to his son Philip Knight "P.K." Wrigley supported himself by doing a number of odd jobs and selling newspapers. In 1891, after working in the soap business for 20 years, Wrigley moved to Chicago at the age of 29 with his wife, Ada, and young daughter, Dorothy, to go into business for himself. He transformed a small business selling soap into the top chewing gum manufacturer in the world. He turned it into a family retreat and one of the most famous resorts in the country. Wrigley also supervised the building of an upper deck. Gradually, he phased out baking powder and soap and concentrated on chewing gum. Mr Wrigley Jr II – known as Beau – joined Wm Wrigley Jr Company (Wrigley’s Gum) in 1985 after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania. With great enthusiasm and determination, he brought many improvements, including public utilities, steamships, a hotel and casino. Wrigley went to work as a traveling soap salesman for his father’s company at age 13. If we understand correctly it gifted packages of chewing gum with the baking powder. In 1893 and 1894, Wrigley introduced the flavors that would make the company eternal: Juicy Fruit and Wrigley's Spearmint. Countries abroad had different tastes than in the United States, so Wrigley introduced flavors Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. The premium system worked so well that Wrigley even published premium catalogs to help customers choose what they wanted. The general public did not accept Spearmint at first. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. "History and Architecture," Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa, http://www.arizonabiltmore.com (November 1, 1999). The gamble paid off when sales jumped dramatically. From that point forward, the newly named William Wrigley Jr. Company manufactured its own products. Wrigley. Over the years, Wrigley invested more than $5 million in the team. Wrigley began buying stock in the team in 1916. The garden stretches for over 37 acres and is a tribute to the Wrigley's concern for conservation. A natural promoter, Wrigley realized the power of advertising. Company revenue topped $1.3 million in 1909 and a year later, Wrigley's Spearmint was the top selling gum in the United States. He spent many afternoons at the ballpark, joking with friends, drinking beer, and even handing out cigars to Cub players. In 1892, Wrigley Chewing Gum offered its first two brands: Lotta Gum and Vassar. The elder Wrigley loved sitting in his front-row seat, being recognized and photographed. The main product was Wrigley's Scouring Soap. Five years later, he had gained a controlling interest. Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree.... Do you think you know about baseball? He planned to sell soap in Chicago for his father's company and offer baking powder as a premium. Even as the company grew into a major corporation, Wrigley emphasized quality. By 1929, the team won its first pennant since 1918 and the first of four they would win over the next decade. The boy's great-grandfather, Edmund, was a woolen manufacturer in the "City of Brotherly Love," while his father went on to greater success as a soapmaker. He also gave dealers premiums, such as clocks, coffee grinders, or fishing tackle, which varied with the size of the order. The most successful product outside America was a pellet-shaped gum sold under the "P.K." His motto was "tell em quick and tell em often.". The enterprising Wrigley even designed the logo on the Spearmint package. William Wrigley (1861 to 1932) is known as the father of chewing gum. Catching the sales bug, Wrigley and a friend ran away to New York a year later. At age thirteen, he left home and sold his father's soap door-to-door from a two-horse wagon in rural Pennsylvania, New York and New England. that would appeal to local customers. His company became one of the biggest advertisers in the United States. By 1908, sales of Wrigley’s Spearmint were more than $1,000,000 a year. When Wrigley died on January 26, 1932, The New York Times reported it was "of acute indigestion, complicated by apoplexy and heart disease." William Wrigley Jr. was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on September 30, 1861. "The Story of Chewing Gum," William Wrigley Jr. Company, http://www.wrigley.com (November 1, 1999). The Wrigley Company is an American chewing gum (Wrigley's gum) company founded in 1891, by William Wrigley Jr. (William’s great grand father). The chewing gum proved more popular than the baking powder, so he dropped both soap and baking powder to sell only chewing gum. He transformed a small business selling soap into the top chewing gum manufacturer in the world. Test your knowledge with this quiz. "The Wrigley Memorial and Botanical Gardens," Catalina Island Home Page, http://www.catalina.com (November 1, 1999). Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Save 50% off a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. He introduced Doublemint gum in 1914. Black Friday Sale! Wrigley’s Chicago headquarters, the Wrigley Building, became a noted architectural landmark of that city. This product had become popular in the 1860s after New York inventor, Thomas Adams, introduced chicle to the United States after a visit with the former Mexican dictator Santa Anna, who chewed the stuff while they spoke. In his company's ads, Wrigley repeatedly told people about the benefits of the product. The man was William Wrigley, Jr. and the island was Santa Catalina. Wrigley again tried to establish himself away from his father's business at the age of 18. Eventually, he made it back to Philadelphia and William Sr.'s factory. The Wrigley Building was an instant hit in Chicago, featuring a 27-story clock tower modeled on the Giralda Tower in Seville. His parents, William and Mary A. Ladley were second generation Americans. Wrigley offered premiums as an incentive to buy his soap, such as baking powder. Industrialist, Entrepreneur. Wrigley relied on advertising to boost sales of Wrigley’s Spearmint chewing gum, which he introduced in 1893. The Wrigley Building on the north bank of the Chicago River in Chicago. He was the son of William and Mary A. Ladley. William Wrigley, Jr By all accounts, William Wrigley (1861-1932) is the "father of chewing gum." The Philadelphia born youngster was put to work in his father's soap factory doing menial labor after being expelled from grammar school. Wrigley gave away two packages of chewing gum with each baking soda purchase until he once again grasped that the premium was more popular than the product. … The team continued its success into the 1930s. He passed away in a home he built near the Arizona resort. This article was most recently revised and updated by, https://www.britannica.com/biography/William-Wrigley-Jr. Pennsylvania Center for the Book - Biography of William Wrigley Jr. William Wrigley, Jr. - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up). Under relentless competition, Wrigley teetered on the verge of bankruptcy several times, but plowed ahead nonetheless. In 1921, he also bought the Los Angeles Baseball Club and a team in Reading, Pennsylvania. His wife, Ada, came up with the idea for a massive garden on the island showcasing plants from around the world. The Wrigley family owned the resort for over four decades before selling it in May 1973. The chewing gum business was highly competitive in the late 1800s. He brought it to the world by transforming a small soap-selling business into the leading global chewing gum manufacturer. William Mills Wrigley Jr. (September 30, 1861 – January 26, 1932) was an American chewing gum industrialist. He was also responsible for the planting of numerous trees, shrubs, and flowers. He expanded his premium offers, giving away items ranging from lamps and razors to cookbooks and fishing tackle. There were at least a dozen companies pushing their wares. The two returned home a few weeks later. He stirred a vat of liquid soap for $1.50 a week. Wrigley himself did much of the selling in the early days and had a knack for understanding the customers' needs. A year after the plant opened, the boy went out into the streets of Philadelphia and sold soap from a basket.

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