Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Tupperware party

Because Poly-T, as he would call it, didn't give off an odor and resisted damage from acids, Tupper thought that it might be useful for making food-storage containers. As Mr. Kealing notes, housewives in those days, hoping to avoid food spoilage, were known to put shower caps over dishes. Tupper's experimentation paid off: In 1947, he applied for a patent on an "Open Mouth Container and Nonsnap Type of Closure Therefor."

Nonsnap type of closure therefor? Doesn't roll off the tongue easily.

While rearing a young son during the 1940s, Wise worked as an executive secretary, studied mechanical drawing and wrote a newspaper advice column. In a journal she kept during that period – Mr. Kealing had access to it and to a bounty of other primary-source materials – she wrote: "I was trying to piece together some of the many lessons I learned from my mother, my teachers, my ministers, old friends . . . I wanted to be a successful human being." Note that the phrase she emphasized was not "a groundbreaking feminist icon." Though Mr. Kealing celebrates Wise's struggles against sexist, chauvinist corporate America, she seems not to have seen herself in that light. Wise simply needed to make a living and, happily, was blessed with perseverance, optimism and a prodigious talent for selling.

Typical Wal Street Journal right-wing editorializing.

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