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Tupperware Collection

A description of the collection at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: MM
Date: 2006

Biographical History

Earl Tupper (1907-1983) founded Tupperware Brands Corporation in 1938. Tupper's method of purifying a by-product of the oil refining process resulted in affordable polyethylene -- plastic -- products in a rainbow of colors for a wide range of kitchen and home uses. Tupper introduced the line in 1946 through department and hardware stores; sales were steady but modest until the advent of Tupperware Home Parties (based on a similar strategy developed by Stanley Home Products). The Home Parties were an immediate success and in 1958 Earl Tupper was able to sell the company for $16 million.

Tupperware spread to England and thence to Europe in the 1960s. As of 2009 Tupperware was being sold in nearly 100 countries -- still primarily through the home party method, though in some cases under alternate product names (for example, Kompakt-System in Germany and Eleganzia in England).

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Tupperware Collection contains correspondence, printed material and photographs.

Correspondence includes letters between Harold A. Holtz and Earl Tupper, Harold A. Holtz and Gladys M. Leedy, and Harold A. Holtz to Lou Agnello with accompanying photographs of the opening of a time capsule with the original Tupperware set inside. Harold A. Holtz was an employee of Union Carbide/Bakelite Company and a colleague and friend of Earl Tupper.

Photographs include several photos of Earl Tupper and Harold A. Holtz.

Printed material includes a Tupperware newsletter, Tupperware Home Parties material, Tupperware demonstration booklet, and promotional material.

Arrangement of the Collection

Alphabetical by type of material.


Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Related Material

Special Collections Research Center has numerous holdings in the areas of plastics and industrial design. Please refer to the SCRC Subject Index for a complete listing. There are also items made of Tupperware in the artifacts holdings.

Subject Headings


Holtz, Harold A.
Tupper, Earl Silas.

Corporate Bodies

Tupperware Corporation.


Plastic containers.
Plastic tableware.
Plastics industry and trade.
Tupperware Home Parties.

Genres and Forms

Catalogs (documents)

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Tupperware Collection,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Transfer from National Plastics Center and Museum, 11/06/2008.

"Tupperware: A Household Word in Homes Everywhere" (1958) catalog given to Harold A. Holtz by Earl Tupper, later donated to the National Plastics Museum.

Table of Contents



Printed material