Dupont cellophane ad, 1955: potato chips taste better in plastic!

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34 Responses to “Dupont cellophane ad, 1955: potato chips taste better in plastic!”

  1. bklynchris says:

    Wow Cory, I expected more from you. You plead jet lag meaning you did not do the background research, or you knew this but just forgot? I say former…. I hold you in very high esteem, please don’t let me down.

  2. Kaleberg says:

    Cellophane is definitely a wood product. There was obviously a big technological jump in the 20s or then abouts because we suddenly got Kleenex, cellophane and tampons. They are all made from the same basic process as paper, but with variations in processing and which pulp products were used.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Wow Cory, I expected more from you. You plead jet lag meaning you did not do the background research, or you knew this but just forgot? I say former…. I hold you in very high esteem, please don’t let me down.

    OMG if Cory doesn’t own up this person may NEVER COMMENT AGAIN!

  4. Anonymous says:

    I hate Big Oil as much as anyone, but Cellophane is made from cellulose, not petroleum.

  5. Ninth Stage says:

    Cellophane is not petroleum based. It’s made from cellulose. When burned the smoke smells like denim jeans burning.

    • travtastic says:

      Don’t take this the wrong way, but what kind of lifestyle do you live where you’re familiar with the smell of burning jeans?

  6. justawriter says:

    Chemistry FAIL. Cellophane is made out of cellulose, such as good old fashioned wood pulp or cotton fiber.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Who cares what the bag is made out of! That kid’s teeth are terrifying!

  8. W. James Au says:

    One of Draper’s earlier efforts. Sterling’s client, big asshole.

  9. grimc says:

    Cellulose is made from unicorn horn and kitten tears. I thought this was common knowledge.

  10. Cory Doctorow says:

    Mea maxima culpa. I plead jetlag, having crossed nine timezones over 30 hours yesterday, and risen at 2:30AM this morning to blog.

    • MythicalMe says:

      And now you’ve hit upon one of my pet peeves. “AM” and “in the morning” are the same. :)

      • Anonymous says:

        Or even simpler; like most of Europe just use a 24-hour clock and ditch the ambiguity arisen from having 2 of every time each day.

      • djn says:

        Nah, “2AM in the night” implies “before I went to sleep”, while “2AM in the morning” implies “I got up disturbingly early”.

        (Mind you, I’m from a 24-hour country – I might be rambling.)

  11. muteboy says:

    I guess cellophane kept the crisps crisper than the paper it replaced?

  12. jeligula says:

    Yeah, you adults just enjoy your tray of chips. I have the whole bag and they are mine! Mine, I tell you. And Sparky? He didn’t run off. He’s in a pit with seven other neighborhood dogs and Sis is getting a bit uppity. You should have included me in your soirees, because I have figured out a novel secondary usage for this cellophane bag. After I have finished the chips, of course.

  13. Kludgegrrl says:

    It is wild how new materials (especially plastics) do come to completely dominate packaging, to the point that no one remembers how it used to be.

    When I was a kid and had just learned how comparatively recent plastic was, I was completely baffled by the idea of a non-plastic toothbrush. What the hell did they use? Wood? Ceramic? Finally I asked my mom (who is old enough to predate plastic) and she supplied the answer. They were made of hard rubber.

    I remember cellophane bags, and am wondering when exactly they stopped being used (was it the 80′s?). And I still miss the waxed paper bags that cereal came in, since the plastic they use now doesn’t roll up as well (to keep the cereal fresher).

  14. Anonymous says:

    I don’t read this ad ironically or humorously at all. Seems perfectly wonderful.

  15. Ninth Stage says:

    Teenager + raggedy jeans + lighter = The sweet smell of burning jeans. Just the raggedy bits tho.

    Not too surprisingly it is the odor of burning cotton, both cellophane and jeans.

  16. Ninth Stage says:

    Burning a piece of a wrapper is how you can tell cellophane from plastic. Plastic will melt and wither away from a flame. Cellophane will burn like, well, cellophane. Blow the flame out and smell the smoke, smells like burning cotton.

  17. sam1148 says:

    I understand this was posted, partly about the cool artwork. But mostly as a ‘dig’ at big oil based packaging.

    Hummmm…..What is that product the Cool “boingboing” approved 3-D printers use as their printing medium?

  18. knoxblox says:

    We used to have Charles’ Chips delivered in tin canisters when I was a kid. Definitely better in tin than cellophane.

    • sam1148 says:

      We used to have Charles’ Chips delivered in tin canisters when I was a kid. Definitely better in tin than cellophane.

      We had those too, and crackers and such.
      I’m more upset at the loss of glass in packaging in favor of plastics. Jars of mayo, (some) pickles, ketchup, mustard, are almost always plastic now.
      I still have a 60′s tin that saltine crackers came in..and use that to store crackers. Airtight and still works nicely after decades of use.

      • travtastic says:

        I get glass whenever possible. Never saw a point in buying small, air-tight containers when I can get a perfectly good one every time I finish a jar of pasta sauce.

  19. MadRat says:

    It’s weird the things we forget were once new and revolutionary. When I look back at old Popular Mechanics magazines from the 1930s they extol the amazing electric toasters and can openers, reflectors on bicycles pedals that will save lives and shoes with rubber soles.

  20. Unmutual says:

    Don’t dis cellophane! It’s biodegradable!

  21. Unmutual says:

    I know this is all yuk yuks and whatnot but you will be seeing ads for cellophane much like this one in the near future.

    It can be composted at home (though it takes a while). I wouldn’t be surprised, what with California’s proposed ban on plastic bags, to see many plastic products go back to cellophane. And I would support that!

  22. Ugly Canuck says:

    Cellophane?
    Why, even way back in 1934, Cole Porter knew that cellophane was “the top”!
    See at 1:36 in this vid of Porter singing “You’re The Top” – and check out the cellophane clothing those old-time models are wearing (as the chips bag says in the foto above – “Cellophane lets you see!”:)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njzqv5gWt6k

  23. Anonymous says:

    Cellophane was manufactured in a very interesting manner. A solution of Cellophane and solvent was floated on a bath of warm mercury and the solvent was evaporated.

    Eventually, a continuous process was developed which pulled a sheet of Cello off the mercury, slit it and rolled the slit sheets.

    The interesting part is in the amount of mercury that was lost to the environment. Multi tons per year.

  24. Anonymous says:

    This is a terrible ad! How does that kid expect to be sneaky if he’s eating from a cellophane bag?! Mom will hear the crumpling in an instant.

    • Donald Petersen says:

      Mom will hear the crumpling in an instant.

      This kid probably remembered that, and grew up to invent the new Sun Chips biodegradable bags, which appear to be made of equal parts cellophane, thunder, microphone feedback, dental drill, and smoke alarm.

      Man, you can’t even look at one of those bags without waking the neighbors.

  25. Anonymous says:

    I can see the sort of symbol interjection seen in Super Mario Galaxy has prior art.

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