O'Reilly logo

Amway Forever: The Amazing Story of a Global Business Phenomenon by Kathryn A. Jones

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

The Method Catches On

During World War II, Tupper outfitted American troops with gas masks and other plastic items. After the war he decided to move into the consumer market and bought a used plastic molding machine and some polyethylene pellets from DuPont. Plastic in the 1940s, however, was not the ubiquitous, versatile, flexible material that’s now part of everyday life and integral to products from computers to automobiles. Derived from crude oil, early plastic was “still primitive, being generally brittle, slimy and smelly.”1 Back then, Bakelite was the material often used to make radios, spoon handles, brushes, and assorted everyday items. Tupper set about transforming plastic into a more palatable material that was “resilient, solid, and grease-free, but also clean, clear, and translucent.”2 He also developed a patented seal, modeled on a paint can’s inverted rim, that was water- and airtight. The seal—and the now-familiar “burp” of air before it locked—kept food from drying out, going stale, and losing flavor, or wilting, whether it was cookies cached away in the cupboard or leftovers stored in the refrigerator. Tupper named his first container the “Wonderbowl.”3

In 1946, the inventor launched his line of Tupperware containers for sale in retail outlets. But consumers, still skeptical about plastic, weren’t buying. They needed demonstrations to understand how the newfangled products worked and to see that plastic food containers were hygienic and didn’t smell.4 Another ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required