Baby boomers and the younger generations are nostalgically collecting Tupperware, since they remember their mothers and grandmothers using the items in their kitchens or selling the products as Tupperware Parties.
It was Earl Tupper who conceived the Tupperware idea in 1946 and founded the Tupperware company.
The plastic Tupperware containers were both strong and lightweight, but they did not sell very well in the shops without demonstrations to show their usefulness in the home. A woman by the name of Brownie Wise received a set of Tupperware bowls as a gift. Her enthusiasm for the brand led her to become Tupperware's vice president, and she developed the home party concept for selling these innovative plastic products.
Brownie Wise understood that women needed more options for making an income, so under her leadership in the 1950's, Tupperware became known for offering American women opportunities to earn an income.
The concept of direct marketing championed by Wise introduced Tupperware to households across America, and eventually around the world. The glass kitchenwarethat was popular with homemakers from the 1920's through the 1940's was soon replaced with these airtight plastic wares. For decades, this brand was a household name, and the company is still in business with headquarters located in Orlando, Florida.
The first Tupperware pieces were sold for around £2 to £5 each. That was around 20 times the cost of a loaf of bread, so Tupperware was not exactly cheap. One of the selling points was a lifetime warranty and the fact that you probably would not have to replace the pieces as often as glass.
Today there are only a few Tupperware items that are highly priced as collectables such as the Tupperware sculptural salt and pepper shakers from the 1960's. These can sell for £100 or more when in pristine condition. Complete bowl sets in top condition can sell for between £50 to £75, whilst most single pieces sell in the £5 to £20 range, with a few exceptions.
Estate sales are great places to find used Tupperware for a collection, especially if the owner of the home was a Tupperware representative. These sales reps regularly added to their demo sets and received the product as awards or through special purchases. They often have items squirrelled away in cabinets that are in pristine condition.
Most Tupperware fans recognize the products instantly, either by the shape, which changed over the decades, or the colours, which also evolved over time. For instance, early bowl sets were round and made in pastel colours, known as the Wonderlier line. As decorating colour palettes changed, so did Tupperware. In the late 1960's and 1970's, the company switched to earth tones and some bowls became square rather than completely round, known as the Servalier line. These differences also help in dating Tupperware pieces.
These varied products, which included food storage systems, serving pieces, mixing bowls, and even hard plastic ovenware, look at the bottom of a piece you believe to be Tupperware. They are all marked with the brand name, so you will never confuse similar plastic storage containers with genuine Tupperware.
Every Tupperware product has a two-part number stamped into it. The first part of the number before the dash is the mould number, and these numbers can be very small. These numbers must be submitted in an online form or to a current Tupperware representative to take advantage of the company's limited lifetime warranty.