This is a gum-believable amount of wrappers — and his wife is not exactly thrilled.
Published: 2020-09-18 02:25 pm
This man started a 20-mile-long gum-wrapper chain in 1965

This is a gum-believable amount of wrappers.

In 1965, Gary Michael Duschl saw a couple of his high school classmates tying together bubble gum wrappers and asked them to teach him how to do it. Once he’d learned, he became intent on creating the longest wrapper in his class. Other students recognized his passion and started collecting wrappers for him, and soon he had the longest gum wrapper in the school.

He never stopped.

“I just kept it going for the next 55 years then I found out there was a world record for it so I thought I could beat that,” said Duschl, now 70 years old. And he did: Duschl’s name will be in the 2021 Guinness World Records book for creating the longest chain of gum wrappers in the world.

The retired painter, husband and father has spent two hours a day, every day, building his masterpiece over the past five-and-a-half decades, he told Caters. The chain is a whopping 106,810 feet long — about 40 times longer than the world’s tallest building, Dubai’s Burj Khalifa.

It contains a total of 2,583,335 wrappers from an assortment of gum brands, including Wrigley’s, Juicy Fruit, Doublemint, Spearmint, Winterfresh and Big Red. To create his record-breaking chain, Duschl rips each wrapper in two, then creates a link by folding them six times before inserting them through one another.

“In the 1960s, gum wrapper chains were a fad. Girls and boys would make a chain the length matching their boyfriend or girlfriend’s height,” he said. Per tradition, he has tied together 5.3 feet of chain per day, “which is the length of my wife.”

Gary Michael Duschl fashioned the first link in his chain on March 11, 1965.

Kevin Scott Ramos/Guinness World

Duschl, 70, has created the longest chain of gum wrappers in the world.

Kevin Scott Ramos/Guinness World

His collection contains a total of 2,583,335 wrappers from an assortment of gum brands.

Kevin Scott Ramos/Guinness World

Duschl's name will be added to the 2021 Guinness World Records.

Kevin Scott Ramos/Guinness World

Each chain takes about two hours to make, and he usually ties while doing other things, like watching TV. “It’s like knitting,” he offered as a comparison.

Collecting the wrappers has been easy — strangers provide them.

“People I didn’t know would come up to me and give me wrappers and people always wanted to know how long it was,” he said.

The eccentric creation has its own room in Duschl’s Virginia house, where he stores it in 18 3-foot-long containers, taking up half the space — the rest of which is full of Wrigley’s memorabilia.

“My family is used to it now but friends are astonished when I show them,” he said.

And despite his love for all things gum, he didn’t chew nearly as many sticks as he has wrappers.

“I would have had to chew a stick of gum about every 10 minutes, day and night, for the last 55 years in order to do that,” he said.

Now that his world record is safely secured, Duschl has shifted his energy from tying wrappers to promoting his accomplishment.

“I carry a small piece of chain for show and I hand out a special business card when people ask me about my record,” he said. “I think they are even more amazed when they check out my website.”

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