Well, most people would say it started when Walter Deimer invented bubblegum in 1928.
I would say the real true beginning was when a string of fortuitous things began happening right around the days of the Gold Rush in 1849, a time when the beginnings of commercially made chewing gum was just beginning to stir.
About that time a man opened an extracts business in Philadelphia. That company would many years later be changed, likely by a mighty feat of inventiveness by the owner’s son in law, into one that got into the gum business.
Several interesting things happened over the years to this company, which apparently was one day sold by the son in law, who had become the owner. One was the invention of something he called “Blibber-Blubber” an early “bubble gum” which apparently wasn’t thought to be good enough to be brought to market.
The son in law was destined to later get back in business, armed with his background in gum and Blibber-Blubber. After his death his company would later hire a cost accountant who ended up doing a highly non-accountant sort of thing. He invented bubblegum in 1928, and things have never been the same since.