We’re in…Now What?

cellophane_page5_sample

Sales promotional material that described how DuPont would teach new clients how to use the material, 1928 (Cellophane the Modern Merchandising Aid: DuPont Cellophane, Published Collections Department, Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington, DE 19807).

Once DuPont hooked businesses on the idea of using cellophane, the challenge for manufacturers was figuring out how to integrate cellophane into their production and use it as their own marketing tool. DuPont offered clients access to their own engineering and marketing personnel for aid in packaging design and development. The salesman was key in developing a fruitful relationship between DuPont and the client: “Trained in the fundamentals of some 30 industries [the salesman] serves, he is a fount of merchandising ideas to promote consumer products…backing him up is an imaginative host of company specialists upon whose talents he calls: engineers, packaging experts, marketing researchers, plant layout men.”[1] DuPont produced guidebooks and visual aids illustrating techniques and procedures for cutting cellophane and wrapping goods by hand.  The company even created a new adhesive material specifically designed for placing labels on cellophane.[2] DuPont helped clients every step of the way toward cellophane.

 

cellophane_page5_services

Sales promotional material that emphasized the benefits of becoming a DuPont cellophane client, 1928 (Cellophane the Modern Merchandising Aid: DuPont Cellophane, Published Collections Department, Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington, DE 19807).

 

cellophane_page5_machine

Ad in Nation’s Business magazine for a machine specially designed to handle cellophane, 1932 (Nation’s Business, Published Collections Department, Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington, DE 19807).

cellophane_page5_machine2

Ad for a new cellophane wrapping machine created by Package Machinery Co., 1940 (Nation’s Business, Published Collections Department, Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington, DE 19807).

They also assisted with designing and building new machinery for clients, since most were not equipped with wrapping devices suited for cellophane: “A big obstacle to the Fendrich sale was the lack of any machine for wrapping cigars in Cellophane…setting to work with one of his engineers, [Tom Dolan] completed out of hand his designs for a machine to make Cellophane cigar tubes”.[3] This technical service, however, did not prove successful in all cases. One major industry, meat packaging, continued to avoid mass adoption of cellophane wrappers. Wrapping machines struggled to tightly seal meat packages, and hiring manual laborers just to wrap meat in cellophane proved too costly.[4] Beyond DuPont, other companies such as the Package Machinery Company and the American Machine & Foundry Co. offered to build automated wrapping machines for manufacturers who used cellophane.[5] Through this support system offered to clients by DuPont, businesses gained the confidence needed to add cellophane into their marketing and production plans. By 1950, DuPont’s cellophane division had over 6,000 clients, and 5,000 different products could be found wrapped in cellophane across America.[6]

For a quick look into how mechanical cellophane-wrapping machines work, watch the video below!

V. Have It Your Way⇒


[1] Margaret Dennis, Hagley Research Report #114, pg. 10-11; Better Living, July 1954, pg. 20.

[2] Ibid, 10-20.

[3] Just About All About Cellophane, 79.

[4] Roger Horowitz, Putting Meat on the American Table

[5] Nation’s Business, July 1940, 86: http://digital.hagley.org/nationsbiz_071940?solr_nav%5Bid%5D=3d465351ade6557def87&solr_nav%5Bpage%5D=8&solr_nav%5Boffset%5D=24#page/85/mode/1up; Nation’s Business, August 1932, 6: http://digital.hagley.org/nationsbiz_081932?solr_nav%5Bid%5D=048505a739036ccc3076&solr_nav%5Bpage%5D=0&solr_nav%5Boffset%5D=17#page/8/mode/1up/search/cellophane

[6] The Story of Cellophane, pg.  20, Leonard Walton Collection, Box 1, “cellophane” folder

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