Earl Tupper July 28, 1907 – October 5, 1983 Using inflexible pieces of polyethylene slag given to him by DuPont, Tupper purified the slag and molded it to create lightweight, non-breakable containers, cups, bowls, plates, and even gas masks that were used in World War II. He later designed liquid-proof, airtight lids by duplicating the lid of a paint can.
<ul><li>Tupper later founded the Tupperware Plastics Company in 1938, and in 1946, he introduced Tupper Plastics to hardware and department stores. </li></ul>
Marketing strategy “party-plan” <ul><li>Tupperware was withdrawn from sale in retail stores and Tupperware "parties" soon became popular in homes within the United States and abroad, the first example of "party-plan" marketing which has since been successfully emulated by many others. </li></ul>
<ul><li>"inspired entrepreneurial vision or a reflection of his desperation," handed over his entire sales effort to a neophyte named Brownie Wise. </li></ul><ul><li>Wise, an impoverished single mother from Detroit with little but a dream in her heart, was a true American original. She soon built a vast nationwide network of women dedicated to selling Tupper's products out of their homes. Her flamboyant style and the cult of personality she encouraged came into conflict with Tupper's austere New England ways. The clash ultimately got her fired; the "party plan" lives on to this day as Tupperware goes international </li></ul>
The Museum of Modern Art may have put Tupperware on exhibit in 1956, but American women wanted it in their refrigerators because it conveyed middle-class status, because it appealed simultaneously to frugality and ostentation and because their friends and neighbors were selling it and buying it. "offered an alternative to the patriarchal structures of conventional sales structures, which many women, completely alienated from the conventional workplace, wholeheartedly embraced." And Tupperware events permitted many women of the 1950s to gain their voices by speaking in public, thus developing the self-esteem they had lacked.
<ul><li>After a falling-out with Wise, resulting in her 1958 dismissal, Tupper soon sold the Tupperware organization for $16 million to Dart Industries. </li></ul><ul><li>Shortly afterwards, he divorced his wife, gave up his U.S. citizenship to avoid taxes, and bought himself an island in Central America. </li></ul><ul><li>In 1984, the year after he died, his patent expired. </li></ul>