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The PR firm had chosen one of the glitziest, most lavish hotels in New York. More than 100 reporters and photographers crowded into the rooms on 5th Avenue over cocktails and lunch in October 1953. Everyone wanted to meet the woman who revolutionized Americans’ shopping habits: Brownie Wise.

The dress was figure-hugging, the pearl jewelry was three-piece, the hair was perfectly wavy – this was how the hostess appeared in front of the journalists. In 15 minutes of speaking time, she described to the business press how her saleswomen staged Tupperware parties, explained to trade publications how plastic is punched into containers, and revealed to women’s magazines a little personality glamor from her life in Florida. She left the demonstration of the pastel-colored bowls to an employee, who showed how the new closure creates an airtight seal.

But everyone wanted to know one thing above all else: Why on earth was there a woman at the helm of a company like Tupperware?

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