On This Date in History: In January 1885, Alfred G. Fuller was born in Nova Scotia. He was the 11th of 12 children and picked berries as a youngster for a penny a quart for a “neighbor” 3 miles away. He could earn as much as 30 cents in 12 hours. He left home at the age of 18 and sought his fortune in Boston. He was a rather shy young man but still took to the unlikely job of selling brushes. Customers, being as they are, had complaints and often made suggestions regarding improvements to the brushes that he sold. On this date in 1906, Fuller invested $65 (another source says $375) in equipment so that he might make improvements to his brushes. He modified some items that he had in stock and even created some new brushes of his own design, based largely on the desires of the customers. What a novel approach? By creating brushes that people would buy instead of trying to get people to like the brushes that he had, Fuller began quite an enterprise. Within a few years, Fuller had salesmen all over the country knocking on doors in neighborhoods using Fuller’s techniques of getting people to open their door to a salesman. He based his sales organization on the principals he learned picking berries with his sales force working strictly on commission. Fuller explained that if he had worked picking berries on an hourly wage, he would have eaten the profits. I remember the “Fullerbrush Man” coming to our door quite often. Alfred Fuller died in 1973 and by that time, you were more likely to find a “Fullerette” at your door rather than a “Fullerbrush Man.”
Part of Fuller’s success came from advertising. At first he placed a want ad in the newspaper for salesman in Everbody’s Magazine and had thousands of responses. So, he had a salesforce of about 270 but he needed to something more. Way before anyone was using product placement in movies, Fuller encouraged the use of his brand and one of his biggest early successes came when Donald Duck played the role of a “Fullerbrush Man” in a Disney Short. Then Walt Disney had the Big Bad Wolf pose as a “Fullerbrush Man” in his version of The Three Little Pigs. Soon, the “Fullerbrush Man” was a household name and was welcome into the homes of millions of Americans…sorta an early part of Americana. In 1919, his company earned $1 million. By 1960, his annual earnings grew to over $100 million. (An unofficial company history)
He once read a biography of himself that said he had been fired from his first three jobs so he
went into business for himself. I’m not sure if that part is true or not, but Fuller remarked after reading that, “I guess its self-evident of why I became self-employed. I had no choice.” Perhaps that is something for me to consider. And what about the Fuller Brush Company? It’s still in business, ready for the 21st century as you can now shop on-line, though I suppose you’ll miss out on the “Fullerettes.” But, it just goes to show how humble beginnings can lead to big things from the dawn of one century, through a century of great techonological and cultural change into the modern time. Alfred Fuller based his business on personal relationships and trust of his employees. Perhaps it is for this reason that the Fuller Brush Company has survived when others have gone the way of the Enron.
Weather Bottom Line:
Well, it looks like the computers are sticking to their stories. The GFS and Canadian still want to turn our rain over to some light snow on Wednesday and perhaps some flurries on Thursday but nothing overly exciting though if it
does happen, it would be during rush hour in the morning. The ECMWF and UKMET also are on board with this solution. All four are pretty cold by late Wednesday as well. But, the NAM continues to want to really wind down the precipitation and by the time that it gets cold enough around here for snow, by then the NAM doesn’t have any precipitation at all. It also does not drag down as much cold air. I suspect that the NAM will end up being the odd man out but because it has such a small grid at this point, I would think that the snow amounts will be less than the bullish models suggest and probably not as cold. I don’t want to speak for them but, my guess is that this is why the National Weather Service is only advertising a 60% chance for rain and or snow on Tuesday night and just 30% chance for snow on Wednesday and Wednesday night. Regardless….don’t get yourself all worked up for a snow storm cause we ain’t gettin one now and don’t look for any warm up any time soon.