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Download Tupperware: The Promise of Plastic in 1950s America fb2, epub

by Alison J. Clarke

Download Tupperware:  The Promise of Plastic in 1950s America fb2, epub

ISBN: 1560988274
Author: Alison J. Clarke
Language: English
Publisher: Smithsonian (September 17, 1999)
Pages: 241
Category: Skills
Subcategory: Money
Rating: 4.4
Votes: 846
Size Fb2: 1776 kb
Size ePub: 1365 kb
Size Djvu: 1947 kb
Other formats: lrf mbr txt lrf


Alison Clarke tells with wit and erudition. This detailed and entertaining book explores how the plastic storage containers known as Tupperware rose to prominence in 1950s America.

Alison Clarke tells with wit and erudition. Tupperware was more than just a clever use of plastic and an equally clever marketing tool, it was a symbol of its time and a perfect product for a consumerist age. -American History. explores that domestic icon of suburbia and its role in feminist history.

American culture and object relationship. women's role in a postwar society -Tupperware defining a time, place, and people. Objects have the capabilities to translate time and symbolic meaning.

THIS detailed and entertaining book explores how the plastic storage containers known as Tupperware rose to prominence in 1950s America

THIS detailed and entertaining book explores how the plastic storage containers known as Tupperware rose to prominence in 1950s America. Developed by amateur inventor and designer Earl Tupper, Tupperware won acclaim for its design but languished for several years on the popular market. The product didn’t take off until housewife Brownie Wise established the Tupperware party as the preferred method of distribution.

Clarke points out that Tupperware really had two progenitors: Earl Tupper, who invented Poly-T-ware as the first step toward a Utopia of "better living through plastic," and Brownie Wise, who created the home party plan.

Centuries from now, scientists will dig through the layers of our civilization and discover. Clarke points out that Tupperware really had two progenitors: Earl Tupper, who invented Poly-T-ware as the first step toward a Utopia of "better living through plastic," and Brownie Wise, who created the home party plan. Clarke makes us fully aware that while Tupperware may be a fading memory, the consumerism that it helped foster will be strong for centuries to come.

By the mid-1950s the Tupperware party, which gathered women in a hostess's home for lively product demonstrations and sales, was the foundation of a multimillion-dollar business that proved as innovative as the containers themselves. 5 people like this topic

As Clarke points out, Tupperware couldn't possibly have achieved its place in American life without the Tupperware party . Clarke rejects two academic views of the Tupperware phenomenon, one favorable and one critical.

As Clarke points out, Tupperware couldn't possibly have achieved its place in American life without the Tupperware party, that oft-ridiculed but wildly successful suburban mainstay. The plastic containers, however attractive and functional they may have been, were languishing on the shelves until 1951, when Earl Tupper, in an act that, Clarke says, showed either "inspired entrepreneurial vision or a reflection of his desperation," handed over his entire sales effort to a neophyte named Brownie Wise.

Nor does the book accuse Tupperware of propagating an "Ozzie and Harriet" vision of postwar homogenization and domestic subordination. Citation: Adam Golub. In fact, the author urges readers not to dismiss "the lives of nonradical women involved in a feminine popular culture that embraced consumerism and glamour" (p. 120).

Fine in Fine DJ. B&W Photographs. Other Products from hartmannbooks (View All). Books, Banks, Buttons: And Other Inventions From The Middle Ages.

The Promise of Plastic in 1950s America. Category: 20th Century .

The Tupperware party and all its socio-economic consequences are explored in this unique study of the 1950s phenomenon, which represented the powerful influence of corporations on the American family.

Comments:

Zyangup
Very interesting book! A must have for Tupperware collectors and sales reps!!!
Fog
This is a very informational book about Tupperware. If you have an interest in the business and how it came to be, then this is your book. Anyone studying business might find it very interesting too as TW was the first company to market the "home party". Very interesting history to say the least.
Beranyle
Alison Clarke states in the Introduction that she intends to write a "cultural history" of tupperware---and explore how objects of mass consumption are invested with meaning by people who use them (page 4).
Unfortunately, that's not the book she wrote.
Clarke regards recent scholarly literature as too often downplaying the role of women's agency in the development of 1950's consumer culture. Moreover, Clarke sees consumer culture of the 1950's as an important, politically multifaceted phenomena. Her conclusions are correct, but her argument is flawed.
Early on, Clarke appears to be concerned mainly with outlining the historical circumstances of Earl Tupper, the inventor of Tupperware. Tupper's journals outline a spirit of scientific benevolence in service to society. Combined with a classically-described "Protestant" work-ethic, Tupper's innovation and self-reliance paint a picture of classic American mythmaking at work. But Clarke is quick to recognize that it was the contributions of Bonnie Wise, Tupperware's marketing guru, that actually successfully connected Tupperware to the marketplace, and henceforth to the larger consumer culture.
According to Clarke, Wise was the pioneer behind the idea of Tupperware parties. Dismissed by other scholars as mere consumerism worship, Clarke emphasizes the entrepreneurial nature of thiese parties, as well as the social effect of creating networks of communication and support for women.
As a "modernist icon" Tupperware embodied effort to meld a univocal aesthetic to practical functionality, while at the same time providing a non-threatening social and financial space for women. What was regarded as homemaking basics became a "marketable skill" (117). Wise herself radically differed from the cultural ideal of feminine passive domesticity that so many have regarded as the norm for the time.
Clarke's analysis is valuable, but it doesn't fit the task shw outlines for herself. She skillfully utilizes an array of primary sources, from Earl Tupper's journals to company pamphlets to advertisments. She ends up "parroting" the company's official marketing strategy, and speculates on what that meant in the culture of the time.
If she had stuck with her stated intentions, she would have relied much more on oral histories of the people involved with tupperware parties, and others who bought tupperware. That would have told us how the product was appropriated and used by consumers----but we only get 1 page of these sources buried-- and then at the end of chapter 5. Moreover, she fails to adequately address the Tupperware marketing phenomenon in the context of other house -to-house sales schemes she discusses in chapter 4.
What she writes is a history of the production of tupperware--not the consumption and usage. That's all well and good in itself---but it is not good cultural history. A cultural history of consumption relies on consumers---not producers---for the consumers are the ones who decide what the meanings of products are---not the producers.
So her analysis of Tupperware as a cultural barometer fails.
How Tupperware is treated by various factors of society seems to me a more valuable measure of a cultural barometer rather than the intentions of the inventors and marketers. Such records give us an insight into production, which is valuable, but do not alone provide a strong enough measure of a product's effects.
In bringing these primary historical soruces to light Clarke adds much to the discussion she aims to join, but her evidence does not support a conclusion of cultural meaning-only of cultural intent. It's a good book, but only if you read it differently than how she intended it to be read.
Nonetheless, for its inclusion and discussion of heretofore largely ignored primary sources, Clark's book remains an important part of the literature regarding the mythic and ideological dimensions of 1950's consumer culture.
Hawk Flying
Tupperware was yet another man who used a woman and then sexually harassed her (left OUT of the book) and took all the glory. Tupperware was NOT selling when he then brought on Brownie Wise. Tupperware was NOT in the living rooms of those women selling to them, getting them excited and basically inspiring an army. That psychological phenomena was ALL due to Brownie. The forgotten heroine of Tupperware who was "mysteriously" forced out. With her looks, one can only guess why she was forced out.
Kahavor
Very disappointed in this book. From the vintage photo cover I expected a much more fun, although enlightening, read instead of all the scientific psychological "wordiness". This might be a great book for an in depth college class, but not for an enjoyable look back on the past. Every time I tried to read this book I would start to fall asleep. Won't be finishing this one.
Rude
I had to read this book in grad school and lead my class in a discussion of the book-total flop because I hated the book and the rest of the class didn't. I hated Tupperware mostly because it wasn't about tupperware or it's effect on America--it was all about the soap opera between Earl Tupper and Brownie Wise. The title is totally misleading-where is the mention of tupperware's famous return policy? What about the effect that it had on food and food preparation? What about the copy-cats? Tupperware could have been so much more. If I wanted a soap opera, I would turn on the TV.
JoldGold
Delving into the historical aspect of a true American icon, this book traces the triumphs and mishaps of eccentric inventor Earl Tupper. His brilliance coupled with his eventual collaboration with entrepreneurial genius Brownie Wise, a woman with a mind for business attributed in the 1950's almost exclusively to men, led to the development of one the most enduring direct selling companies in American history. A "must read" for anyone interested in women's history, intrigued by corporate history, or inspired by persistence and the quest for perfection.
Really have enjoyed reading this historical review of how Tupperware began. This book shows insite into how the Tupperware company began but also a look at women entering the workforce at a time when this was not exactly accepted. I was given this book as a gift and really have enjoyed it.

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