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Friday, September 15, 2017

The Fuller Brush Saga

Those Were The Days, 1970

I’ve brushed my hair with this model -nylon handle, hard nylon bristles—since the 50’s. Over the years, I’ve bought replacements from Fuller local distributors--in Connecticut, in Tennessee and later, in Pennsylvania. The last Old Reliable came from The Vermont Country Store catalog. This, however, should have given me a clue that the unthinkable which was about to happen. 

A few weeks ago, when I went to order a new brush from Vermont folks, I found that they were no longer pictured in the personal care section of their catalog. I called them—no dice. They had my old 520 Half Round Brush, but when I inquired further, I learned that this 520 ain't the same as the old one. Now the only available "Model 520" has a wooden handle and soft boar bristles.  That sort of thing won’t even go through my hair. I may be old, but I still have hair. 


To clean a hair brush it must be soaked in a hot soapy solution and then combed out, rinsed and sun dried. The old time boar bristles could stand up to such treatment, but the new cheap-o ones go from soft to softer—my balding husband has one of the wood + bristle versions, so I know. Moreover, you shouldn't soak wood. If you do, results will be dire. 

So now the search begins--either for Old Faithful--which may be waiting for me in a dusty warehouse somewhere, or in the remainder stock of some disgruntled Fuller Brush distributor I've yet to locate. I hope to get lucky and find one, but the chances, even with the 'net, are slim.

I've learned in my searches that Fuller has been sold, or more like "sold out." The industrious distributors, some of whom spent their whole lives working for the company, have been shucked off without the recompense they were originally offered.  Now they are just another set of victims of our steal your way to the top culture.

Sorry to digress into an oldster's gloom-and-doom rant about nowadays, but, damn, I'll sure miss having a good hairbrush. The current one is now beginning to lose bristles, and I dread the day when it finally has to be retired for good and all.

~Juliet Waldron

All my novels, all available publishers & formats:

Mozart's Wife
A Master Passion
Roan Rose
Black Magic
and many others

Fly Away Snow Goose, a story set partly in the Canadian Residential Indian Schools, is a December 2017 release from Books We Love, Canadian Brides 


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