The History of H.B. Fuller

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Our founder, Harvey Benjamin Fuller, had a vision more than a century ago to formulate innovative, convenient and economical adhesives. That spirit still permeates everything we do today as a global leader in adhesive technology. 

It all began in 1887 when the company introduced Fuller’s Premium Liquid Fish Glue, which was known to “cement everything” from tin cans for mechanics to barrels for factories. Fueled by the success of his first adhesive, Harvey Fuller formulated more specialized adhesives, including Fuller’s Premium Wet Paste Adhesive used for gluing shoes, hanging wallpaper, mending books, attaching labels and manufacturing boxes. And, we’ve been solutions-minded since our earliest days. Harvey Fuller invented adjustable scaffolding so wet paste adhesive customers could hang wallpaper more safely. Throughout our history, H.B. Fuller has built upon our knowledge to continually innovate. From the first hot pick-up “gum” to being one of the first U.S. companies to specialize in waterproof adhesives, H.B. Fuller has paved the way for adhesives to improve products and lives across the globe. Today, our focus on innovation brings together people, products and processes that answer and solve some of the world’s biggest adhesion challenges.

We are connecting what matters™.

 1887-1940

H.B. Fuller truck from 1891.

1887 Harvey Fuller moved to St. Paul, manufactures flour and water paste
1901 Harvey Fuller invented unique scaffolding
1915 H.B. Fuller Company incorporated
1921 Harvey Fuller, Jr. became company president
1924 Product line expanded with new formulas for canning
1929 Despite the Great Depression, sales reached unprecedented level at $157,000
1934 Elmer Andersen joined H.B. Fuller, specializing in advertising and sales
1938 Ray Burgess developed revolutionary new hot pick-up adhesive

1941-1968

Resiweld brand packaging

1941 Harvey Fuller sold company to Elmer Andersen
1946 Sales reached $1 million
1949 Elmer Andersen became candidate for Minnesota State Legislature
1950 Expanded footprint with seven branch plants; growth rate skyrocketed
1956 Company product line included 600 adhesive solutions; sales reached $6 million
1959 International expansion begins in Canada and the Bahamas; sales reached $10 million
1961 International markets expanded to South America, Europe, Africa and Asia
1964 H.B. Fuller merged its nine independent companies
1965 Record sales hit $20.8 million as company reorganized into four geographic regions
1968 Sales increased to new high of $36.6 million

1968-1986

 H.B. Fuller Corporate Headquarters in St. Paul, Minnesota.

1968 H.B. Fuller held first public stock offering
1971 Tony Andersen became company president
1972 H.B. Fuller acquired Lüneburger Wachsbleiche in Germany
1974 Sales topped $100 million, even during recession
1977 H.B. Fuller distributed 100-percent stock dividend
1978 Company purchased 180 acres for future headquarters
1980 Sales of $296 million set new record
1981 Construction began at Willow Lake in St. Paul, Minnesota, U.S., site of H.B. Fuller world headquarters
1982 Company acquired Isar-Rakoll Chemie in Germany
1982 H.B. Fuller Willow Lake research and development facility opened
1985 Company expanded to China with joint venture in Guangdong Province
1986 Sales reached $500 million
1986 H.B. Fuller Company Foundation established to solidify company commitment to the community
1994 Worldwide sales reached $1.1 billion

2002-Present 

H.B. Fuller Beijing facility.

2002 Trading of public stock moved to NYSE (Ticker: FUL)
2008 Acquired Egymelt in Cairo, Egypt
2009 Grand opening of Asia Pacific Regional Technology Center in Shanghai, China
2010 Acquired Revertex Finewaters Sdn. Bdh. in Malaysia
2010 Construction began on $12 million manufacturing facility in India
2010 Opened new manufacturing facility in Nanjing, China, the first adhesives manufacturing facility of its kind in the Asia Pacific market focused on reactive technologies
2011 Acquired Liquamelt Corp., and patented Liquamelt™ adhesive system
2011 Worldwide sales reached $1.56 billion
2011 Opened sales office and warehouse in Turkey
2012 Acquired Forbo’s global industrial adhesives business 
2012 Acquired Engent in the US
2012 Divested Central American Paints business 
2012 Opened new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Pune, India
2013 Acquired Plexbond Química S/A in Brazil
2013 Worldwide sales surpass $2 billion

2014 Acquired ProSpec® Construction Products in the US
2015 Acquired TONSAN Adhesive, Inc. in China
2015 Acquired Continental Products Ltd. In Kenya
2015 Opened Lüneburg Adhesive Academy in Germany
2016 Acquired Advanced Adhesives in Australia and New Zealand 
2016 Acquired Cyberbond, L.L.C., in the US and Europe
2017 Acquired Wisdom Adhesives in the US

2017 Acquired Adecol Ind. Quimica, Limitada, in Brazil



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