Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life, 23: A Fuller Life

A Fuller Life: The Story of H. B. Fuller Company. [St. Paul: the Company, 1986.]

"The company was launched in 1887 when Harvey Benjamin Fuller, Sr., traveled from Chicago to St. Paul, Minnesota, with the sole intention of inventing and selling glue. In Chicago Fuller had experimented with glue mixing, while successfully buying, repackaging, and marketing an existing adhesive that was guaranteed to 'cement everything.' His marketing took the form of various promotional rhymes, including clever Mother Goose spoofs:

Maid was in the garden, hanging out her clothes
Along came a blackbird, and nipped off her nose
When she found her nose was off, what was she to do
But go and stick it on again with FULLER'S `PREMIUM GLUE.'

Fuller regarded St. Paul, together with its 'twin city' Minneapolis, as the ideal urban center to establish his business, for general industry was thriving there and competition was scarce. In addition, flour, then a key ingredient in glue making, was in abundant supply because of a strong agricultural base and such rising concerns as Pillsbury and General Mills' precursor, Washburn-Crosby Company."

University of Minnesota Libraries, Andersen Collection

"A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life" is on display through August 15 in the Exhibit Gallery, Elmer L. Andersen Library, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus.

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