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Object Timeline

  • We acquired this object.

-0001

1930

  • Work on this object began.

1940

  • Work on this object ended.

2014

2015

2019

  • You found it!

Tupper Notebook "My Purpose In Life" (USA), ca. 1935

This is a Tupper Notebook "My Purpose in Life". It was made by Earl Silas Tupper. It is dated ca. 1935. Its medium is ink on paper.

Earl S. Tupper is best known for his “Tupperware,” its airtight “Tupper Seal” (US Patent 2,816,589, granted December 17, 1957) for food containers giving rise to an entire industry. Many of his other early designs are clearly laid out in an invention notebook, but he also advised himself on such matters as “My Purpose in Life.” In this entry, he captured not only an idea, but an entire methodology: “To live widely and fully,” he wrote. “…Then invent, not too radically to be accepted by a conservative people, but the most logical step in each trend. Sometimes a revolutionary change may be made and then disguised as just a step forward from the previous standard, in the way people may be weaned much as from breast to a bottle with oatmeal gruel.” In reality, Earl Tupper’s notebook is part invention log, part diary.

It is credited Earl S. Tupper Papers, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, 1992.3213.

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Its dimensions are

H x W (notebook page): 27.8 x 21.1 cm (10 15/16 x 8 5/16 in.) H x W (mounted): 36.7 x 30 cm (14 7/16 x 11 13/16 in.)

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Tools: Extending Our Reach.

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/51682549/ |title=Tupper Notebook "My Purpose In Life" (USA), ca. 1935 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=22 February 2019 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>