You probably knew someone who was a “Fuller Brush Man.” The father of one of my best friends was extremely successful during the ‘50’s and ‘60’s, managing his book of Fuller business in our county and the surrounding ones as well. A U.S. Marine veteran of the worst action in Iwo Jima, this gentleman and his wife, raised three boys, two of whom followed in his footsteps and worked for Fuller as well.
On nearly every Wednesday or Thursday, a truck would deliver big boxes of Fuller products to my friend’s one-car garage. My friend, sometimes assisted by me, would spend the next several days sorting through the different products, first inventorying it to make sure everything that had been ordered was in the boxes. Then, he would assemble the collection of products into small piles, according to customer orders, so that his father could deliver them during the subsequent weeks to the individual households. His dad paid him for doing this, and he would give me sample products to take home. I’m sure he followed up with my Mom for additional sales.
Alfred C. Fuller started his company in 1906. During World War II, Fuller switched from manufacturing civilian products to making brushes for cleaning guns. After the War, Fuller added a line of cosmetic products, and hired a sales force of women, who were called “Fullerettes,” to take these new products to the marketplace.
Fuller’s basic tenets were, “Make it work. Make it last, Guarantee it no matter what.” To this day, I still believe the Fuller brushes, that I still own, are the best brushes ever made.
Since 1991, Fuller has gone through a number of different corporate restructures and buy-sells, and it still exists, certainly much to my surprise.