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Company History

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 as a global leader in adhesive solutions today. 

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™.

The History of H.B. Fuller

  • 1887 Harvey Fuller moves to St. Paul, manufactures flour and water paste

  • 1901 Harvey Fuller invents unique scaffolding

  • 1915 H.B. Fuller Company incorporates

  • 1921 Harvey Fuller Jr. assumes H.B. Fuller presidency

  • 1924 H.B. Fuller expands product line with new formulas for canning

  • 1929 H.B. Fuller sales reach unprecedented revenue level at $157,000

  • 1934 Elmer Andersen joins H.B. Fuller, specializing in advertising and sales

  • 1938 Ray Burgess develops revolutionary new hot pick-up adhesive

  • 1941 Harvey Fuller sells company to Elmer Andersen

  • 1946 H.B. Fuller sales reach $1 million

  • 1949 Elmer Andersen becomes candidate for Minnesota State Legislature

  • 1950 H.B. Fuller establishes seven branch plants; growth rate skyrockets

  • 1953 H.B. Fuller’s 11th facility opens in Portland, Oregon, U.S.

  • 1956 H.B. Fuller produces 600 adhesive products; sales reach $6 million

  • 1959 H.B. Fuller begins international expansion in Canada and the Bahamas; H.B. Fuller sales reach $10 million

  • 1961 H.B. Fuller’s international markets span South America, Europe, Africa and Asia

  • 1964 H.B. Fuller merges its nine independent companies

  • 1965 Record sales hit $20.8 million as company reorganizes into four geographic regions

  • 1968 Sales at H.B. Fuller increase to new high of $36.6 million

  • 1968 H.B. Fuller holds first public stock offering

  • 1971 Tony Andersen becomes H.B. Fuller President

  • 1974 H.B. Fuller sales top $100 million, even during recession

  • 1977 H.B. Fuller distributes 100-percent stock dividend

  • 1978 H.B. Fuller purchases 180 acres in St. Paul (Vadnais Heights), Minnesota, U.S., for future headquarters

  • 1980 Sales of $296 million set new records

  • 1981 Construction begins at Willow Lake in St. Paul, Minnesota, U.S., site of new H.B. Fuller lab; H.B. Fuller reorganizes, focusing on strategic business units

  • 1982 H.B. Fuller acquires Isar-Rakoll Chemie; expands European presence

  • 1982 H.B. Fuller institutes 14-step quality control program

  • 1982 H.B. Fuller Willow Lake research facility opens

  • 1984 H.B. Fuller named to Fortune 500 based on 1983 performance

  • 1985 H.B. Fuller signs joint venture agreement with Guangdong Province, China

  • 1986 H.B. Fuller reaches $500 million sales goal

  • 1986 H.B. Fuller establishes the H.B. Fuller Company Foundation in support of its philanthropic vision and commitment to the community

  • 1994 H.B. Fuller reaches $1.1 billion worldwide sales

  • 2002 Trading of public stock moves to NYSE – with the ticker symbol FUL

  • 2005 & 2006 Forbes magazine named H.B. Fuller to its Platinum 400 list of best managed big companies in America, and one of the top 10 companies in the chemical industry

  • 2009 H.B. Fuller celebrates the grand opening of its new Asia Pacific Regional Technology Center in Shanghai, China

  • 2010 H.B. Fuller acquires Revertex Finewaters Sdn. Bdh. in Malaysia, strengthening the company’s presence in Southeast Asia

  • 2010 H.B. Fuller announces expansion to India with a $12 million manufacturing facility being built in Pune, India

  • 2010 H.B. Fuller opens its manufacturing facility in Nanjing, China, the first adhesives manufacturing facility of its kind in the Asia Pacific market focused on reactive technologies

  • 2011 H.B. Fuller acquires Liquamelt Corp., and patented Liquamelt™ adhesive system

  • 2011 2011 H.B. Fuller worldwide sales reach $1.56 billion

  • 2012 H.B. Fuller acquires the global industrial adhesives business of Forbo Group

  • 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 Royal Adhesives & Sealants

  • 2017 Acquired Adecol Ind. Química, Limitada