Hi, Malcolm here. With another birthday just gone I thought it would be fun to find out if I share my important day with any famous people. I was amused to find that, aside from children’s author Beatrix Potter and Hugo Chavez (flamboyant President of Venezuela); the list was full of people I had never heard of.

American innovation

I did find one interesting person; Earl Silas Tupper, the American inventor of Tupperware. Does everyone have memories of Tupperware?  Or perhaps a Tupperware party, where your mum would let a woman you had never seen before come to your house and try and sell sandwich boxes and storage containers in every conceivable shape and size to all the neighbors? I must confess I do.

How did it all start?

Earl Tupper pioneered plastic molding, producing a huge range of kitchenware. He began in 1946 when he worked for DUPONT as a chemical engineer. He begged his foreman to sell him some polyethylene and was provided with a horrible piece of brown polyethylene waste. Tupper took this, struggled to purify it and then carried out his molding experiments which finally produced his hugely successful range of plastic kitchenware and an iconic US brand name.

Better quality control for polymers with HT-GPC

As Tupper became more successful he was able to buy better material but quality control was always an issue. Polymer analysis was in its infancy in 1946 but if Earl Tupper had had instrumentation such as the Viscotek High Temperature GPC (HT-GPC) he could have easily analyzed/characterized his polyethylene samples and made his purification and molding experiments much easier and quicker.

If you would like to know anymore about HT-GPC or polyolefin characterizations please leave a comment on the blog, explore the applications library or contact us directly at Malvern.