The story of anise-seed flavoured Black Jack gum goes allllll the way back to 1869, when exiled former Mexican president Antonio Lopez brought a ton of Mexican chicle with him to New Jersey, in hopes of selling it to raise funds to help him return to power in his own country. He persuaded Thomas Adams, a photographer and inventor, of Staten Island, New York to buy it. Adams was intending to vulcanize the chicle for use as a rubber substitute, but when his efforts failed he boiled a small batch of cycle in his kitchen to create a chewing gum. He had noticed that Lopez enjoyed chewing the chicle, like the ancient Mayans had done.
He gave some to a local store to see if people would buy it, and when they did he went into production.
Fun fact: Despite it's long history Black Jack is still loved today, and has shown up in current pop culture with mentions on shows Homeland and Boardwalk Empire.