'Tupperware!' the Movie Just after World War II, a novel container started appearing on the shelves of America's stores: unspillable Tupperware. But profits were stale until a sales force of women began selling Tupperware at home parties. A new film documents Tupperware's early history, and its impact on American culture. NPR's Melissa Block talks with Laurie Kahn-Leavitt, the documentary's producer, writer and director.
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'Tupperware!' the Movie

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'Tupperware!' the Movie

'Tupperware!' the Movie

Documentary Travels to the Heart of 1950s American Culture

'Tupperware!' the Movie

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Earl Silas Tupper, inventor of Tupperware, holds one of his original designs. Tupperware Corporation hide caption

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Tupperware Corporation

Tupperware for the Christmas 2003 season. Tupperware Corporation hide caption

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Tupperware Corporation

Just after World War II, Tupperware was invented. Earl Tupper, a reclusive but ambitious inventor looking for a discovery that would change American life, created the unspillable, plastic containers with their revolutionary air-tight, waterproof seals.

But his product was not an instant hit, and sales were small. It seemed his invention was stale. But then Tupper met Brownie Wise. She was a divorced woman from rural Georgia, with no more than an eighth grade education. Not exactly the ideal 1950s woman. But Wise came up with a sales strategy that would ignite the Tupperware empire: women throwing parties at their homes to sell Tupperware.

Tupperware!, a documentary airing Feb. 9 on PBS' American Experience, tells the story of Wise and Tupperware. NPR's Melissa Block, host of All Things Considered, talks with the film's director, Laurie Kahn-Leavitt.