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August 20, 2022

In the 1950s, Du Pont Cellophane Thought It Was a Good Idea to Wrap Babies in Plastic

When people think of cellophane, there are many things that come to their mind before children. It is used to wrap oddly shaped gift that don’t fit in boxes or wrapping paper, not babies. Du Pont Cellophane came out with a series of ads in the 1950s that portrayed babies and young children wrapped in their cellophane, stating that “you see so many good things in Du Pont Cellophane,” or “everything’s at its best in Cellophane...”

While parents do tend to think that their children are “good,” there is no way to comprehend why they would be better off wrapped in plastic. No matter how parents felt about their kids, wrapping them in cellophane is child abuse. Yes, the babies in the ads look happy and adorable, but this is also an illustration, not a live picture. Why isn’t it a live picture? Most likely because they couldn’t get a family to let the ad makers wrap their kids in actual cellophane.

These advertisements ran only up until the early 1950s, which was around the same time that plastic suffocation warnings were required on many household plastics. Since the advent plastics, infant suffocation was rampant, parents were commonly using dry cleaning bags as crib liners under sheets to reduce the mess from bedwetting. The demise of the plastic wrap baby advertisements coincides with the plastic suffocation warnings, not that the advertisements caused babies to suffocate, but for the cellophane company it seemed in bad taste to continue the advertisements.

Du Pont’s “fresher in plastic wrap” advertisements included other items like cigars, underwear, and cheese, but children in plastic tops the list as the weirdest items to wrap in plastic.

1 comment:

  1. True, babies should be stored in a plain brown paper bag, out of direct sunlight.




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