Secret History Of: Tupperware

Its very name is synonymous with the product. Say "Tupperware" and everyone knows what you mean. They knows about the parties, too. But do you know anyone who has actually been to one? Or who has any?

You may not be aware, as you shop online and in those giant retail warehouses, that those parties are still going strong and it's still the only way to get hold of the genuine article.

Tupperware was invented by Earl Tupper, who introduced the first sales in 1946. He was an American, by the way, so that's his name not his title. Tupper, a chemist, was experimenting with plastic, which, back then, was new and unpopular. It was brittle, smelly and ugly and no one had worked out what it might be good for.

Tupper arranged for his employer, DuPont, to sell him their remnants in the form of polyethylene slag. It was black and hard and, yes, it smelt, but Tupper turned it into a mouldable plastic that was flexible and durable.

Next he created a waterproof, airtight lid for his plastic container that would keep food fresh and enable it to stack up in the fridge. And that, you might think, was that. Only it wasn't. Nobody wanted it. A comment in Business Week magazine said: "In retail stores, Tupperware fell flat on its face."

Tupper needed someone to explain his vision to the clients. Enter Brownie Wise who worked for a company called Party Plan and saw the potential for Tupperware to be sold in the same way. Soon she was selling more than anyone else. And that really was that. In 1951, Tupperware was taken from the stores and sold exclusively at parties under the aegis of Brownie Wise, the first vice-president of the new Home Parties business.

The success of the parties was down to a couple of key factors. Firstly, in the postwar era, Americans became mobile for the first time. The parties gave women an instant way of meeting their neighbours and settling in. Secondly, it gave them a way of maintaining their domestic responsibilities while earning their own money and being independent.

The first British party was in October 1960 at the home of Mila Pond in Weybridge, and the company will be celebrating that later this year with, you guessed it, a giant Tupperware party.

Although the company has stayed true to its roots, selling only through approved consultants, it has moved with the times. The range has expanded to include microwave, freezer ware, and products such as knives and scissors. You can also now book a breakfast party, a barbecue party, and an any time-you-fancy party. So if you want to give it a go, visit www.tupperware.co.uk for details of your nearest consultant. They might be closer than you think.

Discover more property articles at Homes and Property
News
i100 In this video, the late actor Leonard Nimoy explains how he decided to use the gesture for his character
Arts and Entertainment
Secrets of JK Rowling's Harry Potter workings have been revealed in a new bibliography
arts + ents
News
Down-to-earth: Winstone isn't one for considering his 'legacy'
people
News
news
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Sauce Recruitment: Retail Planning Manager - Home Entertainment UK

salary equal to £40K pro-rata: Sauce Recruitment: Are you available to start a...

Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - London - up to £40,000

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Creative Front-End Developer - Claph...

Recruitment Genius: Product Quality Assurance Technologist - Hardline & Electric

£18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The role in this successful eco...

Ashdown Group: QA Tester - London - £30,000

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: QA Tester - London - £30,000 QA Tes...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower