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(1946– )

Tupperware food containers have become almost synonymous with everyday life in the kitchens of the Western industrialized world, their sales methods inspiring the proliferation of suburban parties for a wide range of products from cosmetics and jewellery to underwear and erotica. Tupperware was the brainchild of Earl S. Tupper, a chemist at Du Pont company in Massachussets in the United States who, in 1942, proposed to the company management his ideas for the production of polyethylene (see Polythene) household containers. In 1945 he founded Tupper Plastics and, in the following year, launched the Tupperware range of soft plastic food airtight containers that prolonged the life of their contents. Colourful and inexpensive they were soon widely purchased in the United States and used for the storage of foods and liquids, both in the home and for leisure activities such as picnics and barbecues. Tupperware has also been widely associated with Tupperware parties, a sales concept that was introduced by the company in 1951 on the advice of Brownie Wise, a sales representative. The products were no longer available in retail outlets and travelling saleswomen organized parties in people's homes, generating tremendous sales to consumers who were able to familiarize themselves with the products and be instructed on their uses in the comfort of a domestic setting. Such an approach proved highly successful and was also practised in Britain where Tupperware was first distributed in 1960, although Tupper had himself sold his company in 1958 for $9 million.

Subjects: Cookery, Food, and Drink — Industrial and Commercial Art.

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