Friday, February 17, 2012


Quick - think of a product that has revolutionized the way we live.

Did you think of Tupperware right away?

Don't worry - I wouldn't have either!  But "Tupperware" is entering the pantheon of "proprietary eponyms", which is just the correct term for a word that is or used to be a service- or trademarked name but has been adopted by the masses to mean the entirety of the product it describes.  In other words, think Kleenex, Band-Aid, Hoover, Laundromat (I was surprised by this one!), Xerox, etc.

I grew up with Tupperware - and I am talking about the "real thing".  Back in the early 70s, there wasn't any other kind!  Every time I see a sturdy plastic juice glass, I think of my childhood.  We also had some of the early Tupperware toys (I believe they were actually called "Tuppertoys"). I very clearly remember the Shape-O-Ball.  Those babies were RUGGED!   Because I was born around the plastic boom I forget sometimes how innovative and new plastic was in those days.  No more steel, iron or wood!

Of course, Tupperware was also cutting-edge because of its direct marketing sales technique.  Back in the early days, you couldn't find Tupperware on the shelves - you had to attend a party!  This is so ingrained in our culture now (Pampered Chef, Tastefully Simple and, ahem, Pure Romance) but the "Tupperware Party" was completely innovative in the 60s.  When I think of my poor mom having to endure these parties just so we could have Tupperware, I love her even more.  :)

Now, let's talk about this AMAZING booklet!  It's a combination decorating-recipe book featuring Tupperware products. I love that old logo, don't you?  The "hostess" of the book is a woman named Virginia Stanton, who apparently shilled for Tupperware after a stint as Party Editor of House Beautiful magazine.  In the introduction, it's said that Ms. Stanton has hosted thousands of parties in her own lovely home.  Um, really?  She looks to be around 50, so that would mean approximately 3 parties a week in a 10 year span.  Apparently Virginia Stanton is the original "hostess with the mostest"!  :D

Aren't the color schemes a HOOT??  To use a horribly outdated vernacular, the only way I can describe these settings is "gaily-colored".  Another thing that made me laugh was the fact that monosodium glutamate is an actual ingredient called for in the "Iced St. Germain Soup" recipe.  See for yourself!

I learned something new when reading this booklet - I noticed that the copyright on the back is 1965, from the Rexall Drug and Chemical Company.  Sure enough - according to Wikipedia, Rexall bought the Tupperware Company from founder Earl Tupper in 1958.  How about that!

If you'd like to know more about Tupperware, I highly suggest this wonderful American Experience episode called (what else), "Tupperware!"  If you're a fan of this PBS series then you're already aware of how great it is.  This episode is no exception!  It's worth it for the rare Tupperware "Jubilee" footage alone.

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