Surely one of the most recognized company mascots in the world is Mr. Bibendum, better known as the Michelin Man. Equally recognizable, but in an entirely unrelated field, is the Chiclets brand of chewing gum. In the photo, Mr. B can be seen pointing directly to “Afamadas Gomas Michelin” on the side of this confectioner’s Model “T” delivery van which translates to “Famous Michelin Gum”. This seems to imply that the famous tire maker licensed the name for a brand of chewing gum.
Chiclets have been around even longer than Michelin tires, dating back to the 1870′s when Thomas Adams began experimenting with chicle he and General Antonio de Santa Anna imported from Mexico. The story goes that one day, after Adams repeated attempts to produce rubber products including tires from it failed, he popped a small piece into his mouth, found the peppermint flavor quite pleasing and the Adams New York Gum Company was born.
Had Adam’s research turned out differently, we might very well be riding around on his tires and chewing Michelin gum today. You can find many more photos and information about Michelin tires and Mr Bibendem @ http://theoldmotor.com/?p=111084
I don't know. That Michelin Man looks kind of scary. I always remembered him looking like this.
I believe gomas translated as gum is referring to the Michelin tires themselves and not a confection. In a similar fashion, Firestone clinchers say Gum Dipped on their sidewalls.
Back then, the chewing gum most certainly would have been chicle based hence the name Chiclets. Now the chewing gum base is a petroleum product.
There are two Chiclet gum signs on the car and it does refer to chocolate on the side.
I would say that there is some type of confection being talked about here.
Dave, That was Mr. Bibendum in his "natural rubber" day's.
Model T Period Michelin Tire Full Page Advertisements
Second set of ads.
Is that the same Santa Anna of Alamo infamy?
Michelin had as factory in Milltown, New Jersey ( Middlesex county) from about 1924 to 1933..... not too far from where I grew up. I remember the catastrophic fire of the old plant about 1960. There were many small businesses in the factory complex that never returned to Milltown. Most remembered is the covered walkway across two buildings on Main Street on the north side of the lake. Try purchasing Michelins for your improved Ford now... almost $300 each.
Imagine how hot it would be to be wearing that tire suit. Neat photos and ads thanks for posting.
A very Knowledgeable T.O.M. reader Robbie Marenzi from Argentina gave us his take on the photo: In many Spanish speaking countries car tyres are called “gomas”, to this day that’s the word we use in Argentina and also in Cuba from where the top picture is. The address Marta Abreu 14 in Santa Clara is Cuban. The child in the picture is sitting in a new tyre still wrapped, so it seems “La Estrella” sold chocolates, biscuits, sweets, Chiclets and Michelin tyres.
Below is another neat photo from Huston,Texas we have posted with our earlier Michelin tire history @ http://theoldmotor.com/?p=83362
Looked at the second set of pictures, Milltown production started before July 1916..... news to me.
Thats why we write things down, can't rely on memory.
I like that they are advertising Michelin Automobile Tires on a wagon with steel wheels. And the wagon is Two Horse (Mule) power to boot!
Thanks David, I didn't notice that the first picture was Santa Clara Cuba. I was in that town just last year. I got to thinking, due to the revolution and trade embargo, almost everyone there drives 1950s cars. Had it happened in 1928 instead, I could imagine Cuba today would have more Model Ts on the road than anywhere on earth. And just think how easy it would be to keep them running compared to a '50s car.
I don't know about you guys, but I like this 1906 Michelin mascot better
I believe that "Bibendum" is the oldest, currently used advertising logo in the world.
"I don't know about you guys, but I like this 1906 Michelin mascot better"
MUCH, MUCH more attractive.