Charles H. DeMirjian collection of DuPont Company records on STAINMASTER®
Manuscripts and Archives Department, Hagley Museum and Library
PO Box 3630
Wilmington, Delaware, 19807
Finding aid prepared by Finding aid prepared by Andrew D. Engel in 2013.,
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Charles H. DeMirjian (b. August 1925) was a packaging design manager with E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company. He attended a fine arts school in Philadelphia that is now part of the University of the Arts, followed by studies at the Charles Morris Price School of Advertising and Journalism that was housed in the Poor Richard Club. He was employed, ca. 1951-54, as Sales Promotion Manager of the Sun Ray Drug Company, then the largest drug store chain in Philadelphia.
Seeking a job with greater design responsibility, DeMirjian joined the Fabrics & Finishes Dept. of E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company in July 1954, at a time when DuPont was placing greater emphasis on marketing to the consumer. A new Consumer Products Division was formed within the department in 1963, and DeMirjian became Manager of Packaging Design. He was primarily a manager of designers, helping to establish design parameters and making the final selections from work submitted by subordinates and subcontractors. DeMirjian supervised an integrated approach that combined marketing research, advertising and package design.
The DuPont Company launched the STAINMASTER® product line in 1986 in a successful attempt to provide consumers with stain-resistant flooring through the use of a Teflon® coating that made nylon carpeting much more resistant to stains.
Accompanied by creative marketing with the assistance of DeMirjian and his team, DuPont launched the largest advertising and promotion campaign in the history of the carpeting industry. DeMirjian contributes much of the success of the product to the ability of the consumer to test the product at the point of sale through his invention, the swizzlestick. Through this marketing medium, consumers would use the swizzlestick, a short cardboard dipstick with a square of STAINMASTER® carpet and a square of traditional carpeting affixed to the end to test the product. Consumers would then dip the stick into a cup of a children’s red colored beverage, and then into a cup of water. After being dipped into the water, the drink would disappear from the treated carpet, while remaining on the other. Kits were provided to retailers for testing at their showrooms. Creative advertising was also an important part of the “Stainmaster” success story. One of the most memorable commercials from the campaign aired in 1987, portraying a toddler in his high chair launching his blue airplane shaped dish into the air, spilling its contents onto durable STAINMASTER® carpet. Fortune magazine later that year named STAINMASTER®” to its famous “Product of the Year” listing. Later introduced was the Xtra Life line which provided anti-stain capabilities along with anti crush qualities, it debuted in 1992. Both the trademark and the product were divested as part of the separation with INVISTA in 2004.
Charles DeMirjian retired from the DuPont Company in 1991.
Files include advertising materials, product literature, sales aids (for retailers), information on the development of the STAINMASTER® logo, a file on personnel, as well as one on environmental concerns from within the DuPont Company. Also included are files on the Luxura and Xtra Life lines of the carpet, as well as issues of trade periodicals such as Floor Covering News and Floor Covering Weekly. Additionally, two swizzlesticks, used for testing the fiber at the point of sale, accompany the collection.
Original arrangement maintained.
Artifacts relating STAINMASTER® were transferred to the Museum Division and includes swizzlesticks, demonstration kits, novelty items such a pen and ruler, as well as replicas of the airplane plate used in television commercials which aired in 1987.
Dimirjian, Charles H. , 1925-
E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company.