American Experience: Tupperware!
Airs Tuesday, July 9, 2013 at 9 p.m. on KPBS TV
Originally published February 13, 2012 at 9:44 a.m., updated July 2, 2013 at 10:21 a.m.
In the 1950s, American women discovered they could earn thousands — even millions — of dollars from bowls that burped. “Tupperware ladies” fanned out across the nation’s living rooms, selling efficiency and convenience to their friends and neighbors through home parties. Bowl by bowl, they built an empire that now spans the globe.
This documentary, narrated by Kathy Bates, reveals the secret behind Tupperware’s success: the women of all shapes, sizes and backgrounds who discovered they could move up in the world without leaving the house.
At a time when women, who had been celebrated for working in factories during World War II, were being pushed back to the kitchen, Wise showed them how to defy the limitations they faced by starting up their own businesses -- based in their kitchens.
In "Tupperware!," archival footage of Tupperware parties, annual Tupperware Jubilees, and home movies is interwoven with the thoughtful, often humorous recollections of Tupperware salespeople and executives who experienced firsthand the company's meteoric rise.
This program originally aired in 2012.