Saturday, February 21, 2009


Tupperware was invented by Earl Silas Tupper in the mid-1940's. Originally a DuPont chemist, Tupper developed his liquid proof, airtight plastic containers by mimicking the lids of paint cans.

Tupper experimented with department store sales, but as Businessweek reported in 1954, "in retail stores [Tupperware] fell flat on its face."

Plastic containers were still a new phenomenon at that time, and it became clear that they required explanation or demonstration... Enter Brownie Wise.

Detroit-native Brownie Wise had been selling household products for the Stanley Home Products company in the late 1940's. Purchasing through local distributors, Wise began to offer Tupperware as part of her product line, and by 1948, she was moving enough Tupperware to attract Earl Tupper's attention. The 2 met, along with several other distributors, to discuss a new distribution plan. Based on the home party plan pioneered by Stanley Home Products, Wise refined and expanded the concept, and the ubiquitous "Tupperware party" was born. Even today, this direct marketing strategy remains the exclusive outlet for Tupperware.

By the 1950s, sales and popularity of Tupperware exploded.

At a time where women came back from working during World War II, only to be told to "go back to the kitchen", Tupperware became a method of female empowerment. Brownie Wises' influence among women, as well as the lavish gifts and parties designed to motivate Tupperware representatives, all contributed to the company's success.

Tupperware's biggest party was the yearly Jubilee. To this day, the Jubilee continues, with rallies being held in major cities to recognize and reward top-selling demonstrators, managers and distributorships...

images: (1 and 3)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Expo 67, Through Rose-Colored Glasses

A view of Canada's Katimavik and Ontario's groovy acrylic roof.

My good friend (and fellow Expo 67 aficionado) DC Hillier has drawn my attention to a stunning collection of Expo images.

In 2008, Google announced that it would host an archive of Life magazine's photographs, as part of a joint effort with the 126 year-old publication. The archive contains millions of searchable images, many of which were never previously published.

My favorite shots from the "Expo 67" search results are the ones that have discolored to pink... an aging deterioration specific to slide photography.

The Montreal skyline with Habitat 67 in the foreground.

A small foot bridge in the park located in the south west tip of Île Notre Dame.

Inside Man in the Community's conical roof.

The interior of the Cuban pavilion, a display that was anything but "rosy"!

Left to right: pavilions of Australia, Ethiopia, U.S.A. and India.

The U.S. pavilion's ever-popular space exhibit.

A stunning detail shot of the cable system used for Germany's massive tent.

The interior of the imposing U.S.S.R. pavilion.

The Minirail winding its way around Ontario.

A scuplture in the Île-Notre Dame park.

Left to right: Ontario, Quebec, France, Great Britain and Germany.

The Expo-Express tracks circled around the pavilion of Germany.

The cable car system at La Ronde, known as the Sky Ride.

Another view of the Sky Ride and La Ronde.

images: Life magazine online archive