Archives Center, National Museum of American History

Guide to the Ann and Thomas Damigella Collection, 1951-1997


Collection ID:
Damigella, Ann.
Damigella, Thomas
Physical Description:
17 Videocassettes (VHS)
38 Motion picture films
1.25 Cubic feet
4 boxes
Film, sound recordings and documentary material relating to the history of Tupperware home parties and the Damigella Tupperware distributorship in Everett, Massachusetts.

Scope and Contents

Scope and Contents
Because of their long affiliation with Tupperware, the Damigellas have amassed a significant collection of archival documentation and memorabilia relating to the history of Tupperware, and particularly to the sales practices and sales force training methods of this highly successful, widely emulated, international corporation.
The collection includes film, sound recordings and printed material relating to Tupperware sales practices and methods of sales force motivation and control.


The collection is arranged in ten series. Within each series, materials are arranged chronologically.
Series 1: CATALOGS, 1957-1997
Series 3: ADVERTISING, 1970-1980
Series 5: RECRUITMENT, DEALERSHIP AND MANAGERSHIP, 1960-1995. Proscriptive and motivational literature about working for Tupperware. Series 6: SOUND RECORDINGS, 1953; 1977-78
Series 7:
MAGAZINE, 1976-1991. Sales force magazine, containing demonstration, recruitment and sales advice; product information; and profiles of successful dealers, managers and distributors.
Series 8: JUBILEE PUBLICATIONS, 1967-1982. Publications reviewing and highlighting Jubilee, the annual sales force gathering in Orlando, Florida.
Series 9: DAMIGELLA DISTRIBUTORSHIP AND TUPPERWARE HISTORICAL MATERIALS, 1960-1991. News clippings, research reports, and other background information about Tupperware and the Damigella distributorship, including a chronology compiled by Tom Damigella, Jr.and material assembled by the son of Stanley Home Products and Tupperware salesman Norman Squires relating to his contributions to or innovation in the home party plan.
Series 10: MOVING IMAGES, 1951-1991. 54 16mm films and 2@ VHS videotapes. Film and video mastering and duplication were made possible by a gift from Tupperware International.
There are six subseries.
Subseries 1: Promotional/Motivational Films, 1960-1992. Contains promotional and motivational films featuring activities organized by the company to bring dealers and distributors together, usually with statements from Tupperware executives. Contains product promotion films introducing new Tupperware to the sales force. Contains Jubilee films showcasing the annual celebration, showing award ceremonies, games, music and entertainment (including appearances by Anita Bryant, Waylon Jennings and Pat Boone).
Subseries 2: Training Films, 1952-1997. Includes step-by-step guides to planning Home Parties, learning sales techniques, demonstrating products, and introducing new sales promotions. One film gives tips on safe driving to and from the Tupperware parties, for managers using cars leased by the distributorship for their use.
Subseries 3: Corporate Films, 1958-1992. Includes films showing product development from design to end result as well as discussions of business strategies.
Subseries 4: Commercials, 1983-1994. Presents new products; emphasizes effectiveness and efficiency of using Tupperware.
Subseries 5: Home Movies, 1951-1997. Includes home movies shot by Tupperware distributors Tom and Ann Damigella. This material includes tributes to the Damigellas.
Subseries 6: Acquired Films, 1961. Non-Tupperware films acquired by the Damigellas.

Biographical / Historical

Biographical / Historical
Ann and Tom Damigella already had experience selling Stanley Home Products when they encountered Tupperware in 1947. Mr. and Mrs. Damigella foresaw great possibilities with the new product, and immediately decided to add Tupperware to the line of products they offered door to door. In 1950, they attended the first "round table" meeting with Earl Tupper (inventor of Tupperware), Brownie Wise (who perfected Tupperware's home party sales system) and sixteen to twenty other Tupperware distributors from around the country. The Damigellas quickly became some of the top Tupperware sales people in the country; in 1952 they were awarded a Cadillac as one of the top six movers of Tupperware in North America. Self-proclaimed Tupperware people, their son, Tom Damigella, Jr., and son-in-law, Jon Nelson, followed them into the business, making the Damigella Distributorship the oldest and among the most successful distributorships in the country -- the distributorship has been in the top 25 in sales every year since the early 1960s. Tom. Jr. manages the distributorship since his father's retirement in 1994; Jon Nelson went on to become one of Tupperware's regional vice-presidents.


Mimi Minnick. Film inventory prepared by Anna Wirz, August 1997
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The collection was donated to the Archives Center of the National Museum of American History by Ann and Thomas Damigella in July 1997.
Processing Information
Mimi Minnick, September 1997
Film inventory prepared by Anna Wirz, August 1997; revised by Wendy Shay, September 1997.

Using the Collection

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction
Most items have copyright and/or trademark restrictions. Tupperware films: Most duplication and use of films in commercial and non-commercial productions requires written permission from the Tupperware Corporation. See repository for details.
Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open for research but the fils are stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Contact the Archives Center for information at or 202-633-3270.
Preferred Citation
Ann and Thomas Damigella Collection, 1951-1997, Archives Center, National Museum of American History

Related Materials
Tupperware may also be found in the Museum's Division of Domestic Life (now Division of Cultural and Community Life). Researchers interested in the history of Tupperware should also consult the Earl Tupper (AC#470) and Brownie Wise (AC#509) Collections in the Archives Center.


Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Plastic container industry -- 1950-2000 Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Product demonstrations -- 1950-2000 Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Motion pictures (visual works) Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sales -- Plastic containers -- 1950-2000 Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Direct selling -- 1950-2000 Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sound recordings Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Tupperware International. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Tupperware Home Parties Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Archives Center, National Museum of American History
P.O. Box 37012
Suite 1100, MRC 601
Washington, D.C. 20013-7012
Business Number: Phone: 202-633-3270
Fax Number: Fax: 202-786-2453