Fuller Brush Company
(Unofficial site by ex engineering
employee in 1960s)
last edited 041307
The Fuller Brush Company was founded January 1, 1906, by Alfred C. Fuller,
a businessman from Nova Scotia, Canada. The company was actually called
The Boston Brush Co. then in Massachusetts.Alfred lived in Somerville Massachusetts.When
Alfred moved to Hartford his business was renamed to Hartford Brush Co.
before it became the Fuller Brush Co.
The company began with door-to-door sales of brushes of various sorts,
including hairbrushes with a lifetime guarantee for which they are famous.
Since 1973, Fuller Brushes and over 2,000 other products have been manufactured
near Great Bend, Kansas in Barton County. "Fuller Bush Girl" was the title
of a 1941 comedy movie starring Lucille Ball and Eddie Albert.
Alfred C Fuller
Old Man Fuller (Alfred) became Chairman of the Board.
Alfred Howard Fuller ( A Howard Fuller)
Howard became president of Fuller in 1959
Howard (46) & wife Dora Baker Fuller were killed in an auto accident
in 1959. Alfred was driving a rare gull wing Mercedes sports car in Nevada
on May 10th, 1959..
Hartford Connecticut Plant (?-1960)
The Hartford plant was on Main Street & plans for moving to East
Hartford started in 1956
The building of the new East Hartford plant started in summer
of 1958. The move occurred in Jan 1960.
East Hartford Connecticut Plant (1960-1973)
The Fuller Brush Company factory was located in East Hartford, Connecticut
during the 1960s. It had moved from Hartford some years earlier. In the
early 70s the company was bought out (after Mr. Fullerís death) and moved
to Kansas. East Hartford Plant At that plant Mr. Fuller's son Avard ran
In 1960s they were using a Honeywell 200 computer to monitor the workings
of 22,000 dealers in the country & world.The location was 88 Longhill
Street in East Hartford.
Philmont NY Plant
The toothbrush operation & warehouse was in Philmont, NY which
was located on a major East-West & North-South major highway junction.
It was said at the time at least 70% of the toothbrushes in the USA were
made by Fuller. Dr West was one of those brands made by Fuller in Philmont.
This was also where the blow molding of plastic bottles was done.
The Burlington Ontario plant in 1960s was in the plans in 1959 based
on newspaper articles.
The present Canadian Plant is located in Thornhill, Ontario & Called
"Fuller Brush Industrial". Located at 1512-7825 Bayview Ave.
Great Bend Kansas Plant
Fuller Brush was bought & moved to Kansas in 1973. It employed
700 employees. I am not sure how many moved from Hartford area.At least
one called me to find out about the town it was moving to as I had been
there. I told them if you were up wind of the stockyards you were OK! You
also could eat cheep beef stake for all three meals!
The big question is, how did the Fuller move to Kansas effect the Great
Bend families? House prices? Employment, etc?
The Research Department was there along with the plastics molding
The Research Dept tested sample bottles for leakage over time. It developed
it's own electric toothbrush, but finally went with a Japaneese
brand that was superior & less costly.
It had a Tineous Olsen tester for metals in stress.
The Research Department (Catch All Dept!) had Hank Whitman as the Supervisor.
Mr. Jim Davis was my imediated supervisor. A James D. Smith was the Mechanical
Engineer who graduated from LSU. Jim Smith worked alot on the Stainless
Steel Scrubbie machine & I spent time working for or with him..
The Exaust brush research was being done by J.L. Harding in
1962.I still have a copy of his test reports.
* The cost analysis for new products or new production methods.
* The packaging designs.
* The machine deign for production.
* The secretary's last name was Taylor.
* There was a small silk screening box.
* There was at least one chemical use area with hood to take any hazardous
* There must have been a sensitive scale as I remember small bottles
of purfume samples being weighed to determine evaporation over time.
The industrial brush division was also at the plant where they made
large motor driven brushes for developing newspaper printing photo metal
The perfuming operation was there also, including a large machine to
detect what was in perfume made by other companies.The head purfumer was
going to nose training classes in NY every week so he could snif &
recognize contents of purfumes.Eugene ( Gene) Press was his name.
All the mops (wet & dry) were sewn at this plant.They were using
a lock stitch pattern & were always saying there was big money for
anyone that could invent a sewing machine with an automatic rewind bobbin.It
was many yrs later when someone did!
* LJ Welch-Industrial Products Div. head-died 1960 @56
* Wallace E Campbell-VP & Director of Fuller Brush-died
* Philip M Colturi-Supervisor at Fuller for 50 yrs-did at age
* At the plant there was a blind man who bent brush assemblies all
day long, he became blind during WWII from being a Japanese prisoner of
war forced to arc weld without protective glasses.Nice guy to talk to!
Corn Broom Operation
Fuller had given their entire corn broom manufacturing equipment to
a blind organization to use. In front of the East Hartford plant was a
large glass case with a stuffed large boar that represented the boar hair
used in some of the original brushes.
Fuller had a "private label" division Charter Products that sold duplicate
products under brand names chosen by the distributor. The "Stand Mirror"
that was retired as old design was revived to start the line. I had abt.
50 made for me to buy (my own money) & test market myself. I did the
cost analysis & Fuller had them made.
Marine Products & Plastic Port Light
Avard's interest in boating resulted in experiments at the plant with
plastic molding of port lights (windows) for boats including plastic hardware.It
was to be part of the Marine Division.I still have one of the grey plastic
port lights & some of the plastic hardware. Soon a photo will be posted.The
origional test item was round and abt 12 inches in diameter.
I remember going on the roof of the plant every morning for a period
to throw salt water on the port light test models! The research dept had
made aluminum molds to power the plastic material in. The clear plastic
cover was injection molded, because I remember the large sprew attached
the Research Dept. had to cut off & buff the top till it was flat &
clear to see through. The plastic hardware was not holding up well to the
wear. The threads would not take the many fastnings & the pull test
of the bolts were poor!Some test models stuck with the brass hardware as
Sept 13th, 1973 Great Bend Kansas newspaper
" PORT LIGHTS FOR YACHTS and boats of various types are one of the
many unusual items being manufactured at the FULLER Brush Co. plant here
at Great Bend. These are molded of plastic fitted with a plexiglass cover
to be water proof, and also include a separate screen unit so they may
be opened to provide fresh air when desired. Here, Mrs. Peter Ccgalas,
4912 Lakin, displays one of the finished products. THESE PORT LIGHTS are
an original FULLER design inspired by members of the FULLER family."
The plant contained a large warehouse that was also served by a Railroad
siding. The stainless steel scrubbies were made there also.
Jonny Fuller the grandson of Alfred & son of Avard use to raced
a P-? Volvo sports car at Thompson Speedway SCCA track in the 1960s. This
was in Thompson Conn. John had a super loud exaust as it was a tuned for
( engine speed) racing exaust.John used to work on his race car in the
large opening doors area in the back side of the East Hartford plant.
. Carol Ketchum worked on the cosmetics line at Fuller, she was the
Canadian niece of Alfred by his first wife.She took me into meet Alfred
& get his autograph on his book. I still have alot of color photos
of Carol I took with a professional camera.
Joseph B. Burns became the VP of Fuller in Jan 1964.
Fuller was working on an auto exaust muffler using stainless steel
brush helix shaped brush.I still have one of the internal reports on their
testing.One of the ideas was to build a muffler with this coiled brush
so you could pull it out and go racing on weekends.
* The Fuller plant had a union: Fuller Brush Federal Labor Union
* The Fuller Brush Club House on Hartford's Main Street had an explosion
in 1950 from a boy trying to commit suicide. The boy was the only one injured
from the gas in the kitchen.
* Fuller Mgt. always said their company was Inflation proof as their
sales sored during depressions as more people without work took to selling
door to door.
Fuller sold to Consolidated Foods (1968)
Fuller was sold & moved from East Hartford to Great Bend Kansas
in Aug 1968. Later, the Union Carbide Co. made disposable diapers in the
plant. Consolidated Foods became Sara Lee Corporation.
Fuller again sold to CPAC (1994). Sara Lee Corp.
sold Fuller Brush to Computerized Pollution Abatement Corporation (CPAC).
Fuller Census Info
In 1920, Alfred (42) was in Hartford with wife Evelyn (40) &
two kids, Howard A. (6) & Avard E. (3 yrs & 9 months). They had
a nurse, Martha Bothwell (32), cook Rose Peterson (28) & a general
man Tony Billinger (33).
Alfred was listed as owner of Brush Factory.
In 1930, Alfred (55) & wife was 52? he was executive of
Brush Factory & came to US in 1905. He was listed as 1st married at
Link to more Fuller History
Link to Patents assigned to Fuller
Link to Fuller Brush News Clippings
Fuller Brush Company adds & other related photos & items
Fuller Brush publication sample
Fuller item of model car that also is a bank
1922 Fuller Add
1924 Fuller Add
1947 Fuller Add
1923 Fuller Brush Trading Card
1937 Magazine Add
Fuller Brush factory in 1937 in Hartford CT
Fuller Marine Products Division
Charter Products Stand Mirror
I was involved with this line starting & developing
of the Stand Mirror (old line) for the start.
Fuller Mfg. plans of 1960s period
Fullers East Hartford Plant
Fuller 65th Aniversary Glass
1957 Fuller add with Howard in it
Fuller Brush Pin
|Saved for photos of the Fuller Port Light development model from 1965
period in Nest Hartford.
Alfred Fuller late in life & his book shown above
Inside the East Hartford Plant
|Space reserved for photos in E Hartford plant
Alfred & Avard
Sample of an 8X10 Color Transparency done for Fuller
Brush Add Dept. Date & Photographer unk. This is one of may in my photo
history collection.Taken pre 1960s!