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Arnold Fulton, born Arnold Frucht in July 1931, is a British entrepreneur and inventor; the founder of Fulton Umbrellas, the UK's largest manufacturer of umbrellas. Born in Poland, he was orphaned at the age of 12 and brought to Britain with other orphans by Rabbi Victor Sheinfeld. He founded Fulton Umbrellas in London in 1955 and invented the "birdcage" transparent umbrella in the 1960s. The firm has enjoyed two royal warrants from the British royal family.
Early life[edit | hide all | hide | edit source]
Fulton was born Arnold Frucht in July 1931, into a Jewish family in Poland, the son of a master tailor who employed 17 people. He lost both of his parents when he was 12 when they were in hiding in Warsaw, and he was one of 150 orphan children brought to Britain via Sweden by Rabbi Victor Sheinfeld.
He was educated in Britain, attending Rabbi Victor Sheinfeld's school, then a grammar school, then university from where he graduated with a degree in engineering. He was interested in aviation and wanted to work for the aircraft manufacturers de Havilland and his tutor advised him to change his name from the German sounding Frucht due to the sensitivities of the post-war period. He worked for a firm of consulting engineers for three years, before deciding to start his own company.
Fulton umbrellas[edit | hide | edit source]
Fulton founded the A Fulton Company Ltd in 1955 in London, in Commercial Road in the East End. He invented the "birdcage" transparent umbrella in the 1960s which was spotted by The Queen Mother and adopted by her as her umbrella of choice as it protected her from the rain while allowing her to be seen. Queen Elizabeth II uses the birdcage umbrella for the same reason. Fulton had a Royal Warrant from Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, and in 2008 were granted one by the Queen. As of 2006, the firm were the UK's leading manufacturer of umbrellas with a 35% market share, producing four million a year, and £30 million in annual retail sales. The company is now run by his son, Nigel Fulton.
Fulton's convertible umbrella was a recommended purchase in The Times in 2002. In the same article fashion writer Eve Peansall recommended the company's see-through umbrella should "shocking pink" not go with "your black suit, black shoes and black bag".