Information about some tool brands is hard to find - although, as more and more journals, catalogs and news reports from the past get digitized, new information becomes available every year. The picture is complicated because some companies had similar names, many large companies acquired other companies and coopted their brands, and many large companies started and later closed other house brands.
Sears is one such large company, and Fulton is one such brand. It appears that Fulton was a Sears house brand from approximately 1905 until the introduction of Craftsman in 1927, after which it was slowly phased out. There may also have been a Fulton Tool Company in the mid-1920s, making plane irons and edged tools - but I think this is the same Fulton owned by Sears. To further complicate matters, United Hardware & Tool Corporation also carried Fulton briefly, in an export catalog in the mid-1920s - although I think this was just Sears trying to develop overseas markets for its tools.
So, my opinion is that Fulton was, always and only, a Sears brand.
To add a little spice, Sears contracted other tool companies to manufacture tools for them under the Fulton label. One such manufacturer was Sargent, who manufactured most of the Fulton planes for most of the time they were produced (Stanley also produced some Fulton planes for Sears). Which brings me to today's post. I picked up a clone of the Stanley No. 130 double-ended block plane I featured back on January 21. There was no branding on this one, and I almost passed it by, but for the interesting iron. It was originally marked Sargent No. 227, New Haven, CT, which confirmed the plane as a Sargent No. 227 (a nice find) made between 1901 and 1943. However, it was over stamped with the Fulton brand - I guess Sargent ran short of Fulton branded irons to fulfill an order from Sears! There may be thousands of these irons out there - but I'd prefer to think this is the only one!
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