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Fascinating facts about the invention
Tupperware by Earl Tupper in 1945.
Earl Tupper knew immediately that Polyethylene, the new plastic that was formulated in 1942, was exactly what he had been looking for over the past several years. A Du Pont chemist, Tupper saw that the pliable, attractive, and very long-lasting synthetic polymer was the right material for a host of home products. He began by producing a bathroom drinking glass available in a rainbow of colors and quickly moved on to his famous lidded bowls.  His products were originally sold in retail stores, but he had another marketing idea that would make him a multimillionaire.

In the late 1940s, Thomas Damigella (in Massachusetts) and Brownie Wise (in Florida) were selling household products through Stanley Home Products. Purchasing through local plastics distributors, both began offering Tupperware as part of their product line, and were moving enough Tupperware to attract Earl Tupper's attention. In 1948, Tupper met with Damigella, Wise, and several other local distributors at a Sheraton in Worcester Massachusetts to discuss a new distribution plan. Modelled on the home party plan pioneered by Stanley Home Products and expanded and refined by Brownie Wise, the home party plan became and remains the exclusive outlet for Tupperware.
His Tupperware parties proved to be an enormous success, and fit in perfectly with the new mobility of Americans in the postwar era. Wherever Americans moved, and they moved more with every passing year, they would find a Tupperware party where housewives could meet new neighbors and of course purchase some more of Earl Tupper’s extremely useful products.
Comedians loved to joke about Tupperware parties, but that just provided free publicity. By 1958, Mr. Tupper was able to sell his company for approximately sixteen million dollars and retire for life.


Earl Tupper Biography   from The Great Idea Finder
History of Household Items    from The Great Idea Finder

Why Didn't I Think of That?: Bizarre Origins of Ingenious Inventions We Couldn't Live Without
by Allyn Freeman, Bob Golden / Paperback - 224 pages / John Wiley & Sons (1997)

Inventions chronicles the odd origins of famous products, explores how these inventions changed our lives, and reveals the business side of their production and distribution.
Tupperware: The Promise of Plastic in 1950s America
by Alison J. Clarke / Paperback: 241 pages / Smithsonian Institution Press; (March 2001)

From Wonder Bowls to Ice-Tup molds to Party Susans, Tupperware has become an icon of suburban living. Invented by Earl Tupper in the 1940s to promote thrift and cleanliness, the pastel plasticwares were touted as essential to a postwar lifestyle that emphasized casual entertaining and celebrated America's material abundance.

As Seen on TV: The Visual Culture of Everyday Life in the 1950s
by Karal Ann Marling / Paperback:/ Harvard Univ Press, Reprint edition (March 1996)

Opening with a photograph of a 1950s Disneyland home designed in the shape of a TV (by those fun-loving futurists at MIT), this book's text and photos consistently maintain a balance between insightful social commentary and critique and sensitive recapturing of the essence of visual broadcast's dawn.

Official site of the Tupperware Company with everything you need to know about Tupperware, including where to purchase the products.
Five Decades of Change
The versatility and convenience of Tupper's "miracle" products helped to launch the plastics revolution of the next decade.
Invention Dimension - Inventor of the Week
Celebrates inventor/innovator role models through outreach activities and annual awards to inspire a new generation of American scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs.
Earl S. Tupper Papers
If Tupper personified reverence for the product, Wise personified respect for the sales force. "If we build the people," she was fond of saying, "they'll build the business." Their legacy remains an important part of Tupperware's continuing success.
Patent drawing of bowl and cover
In 1947, Earl S. Tupper, Leominster, Massachusetts came up with the unique, air-tight, water-tight "Tupper Seal" for containers that kept food fresh and prevented spills. From the Smithsonian..Patent No. 2,709,607 (US) issued April 23, 1957 to E. S. Tupper


  • A Tupperware demonstration started every two seconds somewhere in the world.
  • Around the world, nearly 118 million people attended a Tupperware demonstration.
  • Tupperware® brand products were sold in over 100 markets around the world.
  • Worldwide net sales were $1.2 billion.
  • Tupperware® is such a unique and preeminent status in the industry that its trademark has become practically an international generic term.
  • One of the first direct sellers for Tupperware was Brownie Wise, a single mother with a genius for people and a flare for marketing. Wise was so successful demonstrating and selling Tupper's plastics that he brought her into his company in 1951 to build the direct selling system that has made the Tupperware party almost as famous as his products.
Reference Sources in BOLD Type This page revised  March 3, 2006.

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