The famed storage containers weren't named at random. Inventor Earl Tupper branded the plastic sets with his own name after years of working with plastic and decades of flopped inventions. Tupper was a prolific innovator who had begun his own business, Tupper Tree Doctors, to help him in his goal to become a millionaire at age 30, while also supporting his wife and five children. After business dried up with the Great Depression, Tupper landed a job at a plastics factory in Leominster, Massachusetts. The new gig inspired him to venture out on his own and mold the then-new material into beads and plastic cigarette containers. Tupper thought up no-drip ice cream cones , more comfortable corsets, fishing poles that weighed your catch as it was reeled in, and even a fish-propelled boat.
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Baby boomers and members of younger generations are nostalgically collecting Tupperware. They remember their mothers and grandmothers who used the items in their kitchens or sold the products as "Tupperware Ladies. Tupper's plastic containers for household use were strong while being light in weight, but they didn't sell as well in stores without demonstrations to illustrate all their useful attributes to the homemaker. Wise's enthusiasm for the brand led her to become Tupper's vice president, as she excelled at developing the home party concept for selling these innovative plastic products. Under her leadership in the s, Tupperware became well-known for offering American women expanded opportunities to earn an income, drive their careers, and build their confidence," shares Tupperware. The concept of direct marketing championed by Wise introduced Tupperware to households across America, and eventually their lines went global. The glass kitchenware that was popular with homemakers from the s through the '40s was soon replaced with these airtight plastic wares.
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In , few people had heard of Tupperware -- in fact, many were skeptical of plastic food containers, which were known to peel and smell. Many women got involved in the business after being guests at these parties. Tupperware dealer Li Walker recalled, "I had a friend and she was going to have a Tupperware party, so I went. I didn't buy very much but I thought, that's a pretty good way to make money.