Samuel B Fuller (1905-1988)

    What a pioneer of chemical manufacture! Entrepreneur Samuel B. Fuller (1905-1988) founded the Fuller Products Company and was the first African-American to be inducted into the National Association of Manufacturers. #blackhistorymonth #entrepreneur#chemicalmanufacture

    Impoverished in Louisiana, 9-year old Fuller dropped out of school and began selling products door-to-door. Moving to Chicago in 1928, he managed a coal yard, but eventually returned to door-to-door sales, borrowing $25 to sell soap. Parlaying his success into bigger ventures that satisfied the growing demands of Chicago's burgeoning African-American population during the "Great Migration", Fuller opened his own factory in 1939, making hair care products, deodorant, hosiery, and other items. Sadly, part of his success depended on keeping his identify a secret, as a variety of organizations such as the White Citizens Councils were committed to boycotting businesses owned by African-Americans. 

    Today, Chemistry is the third-largest industry in Illinois (almost the second!). For that, we can thank entrepreneurs like S.B. Fuller. Learn more about him here: