Thanks, Mrs. Grady. Order No. 1.

On January 28th, 1920,  Better Brush salesman R.K. Metcalf sat in Mrs. Grady’s kitchen at 290 South Main Street in Palmer, MA and scratched an order into his crisp new order pad for 1 bath brush, 1 crumb brush, and a cloth brush.

This seemingly mundane transaction (for $4.30) was the first for a company that nearly 100 years later would become a world leader in twisted wire brush innovation and manufacturing.

“Fuller Brush” Who?
Utilizing the “value added & interest” sales model made famous by the “Fuller Brush Man”,  Better Brush salesmen pounded the pavement, selling cleaning supplies both door to door and through a new marketing model…“Housewife parties”. Better Brushes’ ability to innovate new and interesting cleaning products, develop relationships and provide superior value at competitive costs proved to be extremely popular and set them on a trajectory for exponential growth.

In 1956, two Better Brush employees (Ken Sanderson and Bruce MacLeod) recognized that a growing number of applications needed a more specialized approach to brush design than could be found in the traditional catalogs.  With six employees and an empty storefront on Main Street, the two entrepreneurs founded Specialty Brush and began providing customized brush solutions.


Mascara Takes The Stage

Their approach to innovation and their extensive knowledge of brush making and automation soon attracted the attention of a makeup artist in Hollywood. Seeking a better way to apply mascara to the eyes of his movie star clients, he began working with the young company and after many rounds of sampling and experimenting, created the world’s first twisted wire mascara brush.

Specialty Brush exclusively produced the brush globally, and with more than 300 employees twisting and trimming mascara brushes around the clock remained the sole producer of mascara brushes for nearly 20 years.

Just two years later, and seeking to diversify into new markets, Specialty Brush bought their old company, Better Brush becoming the company that is known today as Sanderson MacLeod.

VIDEO: Innovation – The People, the Processes, and the Philosophy

Sanderson MacLeod’s 100+ employees come to work every day committed to being the best twisted wire brush company in the world.

Such dedication and experience is why so many major corporations have classified Sanderson MacLeod as “dock to stock” (eliminating incoming quality inspection) and named the company “supplier of the year.” Our team works diligently to be not just your supplier, but a trusted partner for the most innovative, economical and dependably made twisted wire brush products available.

We’re experts when it comes the  Innovation,  Automation, and Integration of twisted wire brushes.

Quality is paramount. The FDA-compliant quality control system uses the latest in metrology and in line vision equipment which lets us conduct fast, accurate measurements on first-piece, in-process, and finished-good parts.

Brush Patents and Inventions

Invented the Twisted Wire Mascara Brush

Within a year of Ken Sanderson and Bruce MacLeod starting this company with three employees and a few basic machines in 1958, at the request of a Hollywood make-up artist, Sanderson MacLeod invented the first twisted wire mascara brush. It soon became an industry standard and was widely developed by major cosmetic companies.

Invented the ZTip™

When Sanderson MacLeod’s customers needed a better brush tip, the company searched beyond the brush industry and found the answer in material joining science. The result is a new manufacturing process using high energy fusion welding technologies to melt a pre-constructed core wire section of a twisted wire brush into a consistent, smooth and inseparable protective tip – the ZTip – in a fully automated inline process.

Sanderson MacLeod has innovated countless new brush applications for wholesale cosmetic brushes, medical brushes, firearm cleaning and cleaning brushes. These ground breaking technologies also include snap off medical brushes. Working with top engineers in the extrusion industry, Sanderson MacLeod has developed a propriety method of printing and scoring a rod so that the sampling end snaps off.

Revolutionized the ZTip™ with color coating

Color Me BeautifulZTip+™ 2018 Launch Announced

How do you take the world’s most advanced protective brush tip and make it better?

By adding a little bit of creative color, of course. Now, for the first time, Sanderson MacLeod proudly announces the ZTip+, offering the color identification and branding alignment previously only available from traditionally molded brush tips. Imagine…All of the variety, colors and consistency of an insert molded tip without but without the separation risks, production costs or tooling lead times of traditional molding.

We found a way, by adding color-coating to the tips.

Introducing the ZTip+, which gives you all of the amazing qualities of the ZTip and allows you to color-identify specific brushes for certain applications. By color-coating the tips, you’ll save time, reduce brush selection errors, and gain efficiencies in device cleaning.

Publication number: 20170258214
Abstract: A brush includes a wire core, a round tip formed on a distal end of the wire core, the round tip being unitary with the wire core section and being formed by melting or welding a portion of the wire core at the distal end, and a molded tip attached to the wire core at the distal end via a ball-and-socket connection.
Type: Application
Filed: March 1, 2017
Publication date: September 14, 2017
Patent number: 8850650
Abstract: A brush for use on sensitive surfaces includes a twisted wire core having a handle end and a bristle end, and a plurality of bristles extending radially outward from a portion of the wire core defining a bristle block. The brush further includes a protective tip integrally formed on the wire core at the bristle end for preventing the brush from damaging sensitive surfaces. The wire core and the protective tip are formed from the same material.
Type: Grant
Filed: February 1, 2010
Date of Patent: October 7, 2014
Assignee: Sanderson-MacLeod, Inc.
Inventors: Mark N. Borsari, David Hudson
Patent number: 8783787
Abstract: A method of forming a protective tip on a wire brush so as to make the brush less prone to damage sensitive surfaces, includes the steps of providing a brush with a wire core and a plurality of bristles defining a bristle block extending radially from the core and anchored in the core, and melting a portion of the wire core at an end thereof, by applying an energy source to the end, to form a protective tip.
Type: Grant
Filed: March 6, 2013
Date of Patent: July 22, 2014
Assignee: Sanderson-Macleod, Inc.
Inventors: Mark N. Borsari, David Hudson
Publication number: 20100192320
Abstract: A brush for use on sensitive surfaces comprising twisted a wire core having a handle end and a bristle end, a plurality of bristles extending radially outward from a portion of the wire core, the plurality of bristles defining a bristle block, and a protective tip integrally formed on the wire core at the bristle end for preventing the brush from damaging sensitive surfaces, wherein the wire core and the protective tip are formed from the same material.
Type: Application
Filed: February 1, 2010
Publication date: August 5, 2010
Inventors: Mark N. Borsari, David Hudson
Patent number: 5551456
Abstract: An applicator brush for fluid-type cosmetics, such as may be used in applying mascara to eyelashes which includes a bristle portion disposed at one end of a helical twisted wire core with a handle disposed at the outer end. The configuration of the bristle portion is such that the bristle tips define a generally cylindrical outer surface having two (2) diametrically opposed channels and application surfaces helically disposed along the length of the brush portion which are spiraled about the core to form a helix thereof. The brush portion is formed by disposing the bristles between the lengths of the wire and helically twisting the wire to form the core that retains the bristles therebetween. The bristle portion is then trimmed to a shape of generally rectangular cross-section. To form the helical application surface, the wire core is further twisted in the same direction a predetermined number of turns.
Type: Grant
Filed: November 3, 1994
Date of Patent: September 3, 1996
Assignee: Sanderson-Macleod, Inc.
Inventor: Franklin J. Hartel
Patent number: 4861179
Abstract: A spiral mascara brush including both soft bristles for applying mascara and stiff bristles for combing applied mascara through a user’s eyelashes. The soft and stiff bristles are intermingled throughout the length of the brush in specified proportion so that the entire brush may be used both for applying the mascara and combing the eyelashes.
Type: Grant
Filed: December 5, 1988
Date of Patent: August 29, 1989
Assignees: Henlopen Manufacturing Co., Inc., Sanderson-Macleod, Inc.
Inventors: Volker Schrepf, Franklin J. Hartel
Patent number: 4733425
Abstract: Mascara brush construction composed of a plurality of radially extending bristle filaments fastened in brush formation by a helically twisted metallic wire core. The bristles are tubular or hollow polyamide filaments, each crimped at the midpoint of its length by portions of the helically twisted wire so that the filament halves flare outward in various directions from the brush core. In an alternate embodiment the filaments are noncircular in cross-section and include a plurality of longitudinal, radially extending flange portions.
Type: Grant
Filed: June 16, 1986
Date of Patent: March 29, 1988
Assignee: Sanderson-MacLeod, Inc.
Inventors: Franklin J. Hartel, Eric W. Sanderson
Patent number: D331150
Type: Grant
Filed: February 20, 1990
Date of Patent: November 24, 1992
Assignee: Sanderson-Macleod, Inc.
Inventor: Franklin J. Hartel

American Brush Manufacturers Association’s William A. Cordes Innovation Excellence Award

Sanderson MacLeod’s ZTip has won the American Brush Manufacturers Association’s William A. Cordes Innovation Excellence Award. The award is given to recognize outstanding innovation in any manufactured product, component or service in the brush industry.

According to David C. Parr, Executive Director of the ABMA, “We are delighted to present the 2011 ABMA William Cordes Innovation Excellence Award to Sanderson MacLeod. The “Willie” recognizes outstanding industry innovation and has become quite sought after and prestigious. The award is named after William Cordes, who served as the Association’s first President from 1917 to 1928. This award serves as a constant reminder that all new and exciting endeavors have beginnings that connect with real people.”

Carlos R. Petzold, Chair of the ABMA’s Public Relations Committee and the Selection Committee for the Award, said, “The ABMA Innovation Award competition is a great opportunity for companies to showcase their innovative products, components and services to the industry and to the larger audience served by customers, users and consumers. It gives the greater industry a wonderful opportunity to see just how innovative, creative and vibrant we are as brushmakers.”

Mark F. Godfrey, ABMA Past President and also a former recipient of the Innovation Excellence Award, added, “In this competitive world economy, innovation is one of the critical keys to success. Being a recipient of this award lifts a company into rarified air and bestows a mantle of accomplishment to drive the company forward.”

Contract Manufacturing

Sanderson MacLeod is a large volume contract manufacturer of twisted wire brushes.

Sanderson MacLeod made the decision early on to manufacture only for OEM customers.  This enables the development of strong partnerships with customers, to keep costs down, to invest in people, equipment and technology and to continually improve operations in terms of speed, quality, reliability, cost savings, and engineering design.

A Confidential Source

Sanderson MacLeod employs a “closed floor” production model. No one outside of employees are allowed in the production area. The methodology allows for extremely high levels of confidentiality when proprietary brushes are manufactured. Brushes are never outsourced to plants outside of Sanderson MacLeod, mitigating risk of intellectual property theft or misuse.

Rapid Virtual Prototyping with SanMac 3D

Utilizing software used by major motion picture animators, SanMac 3D produces realistic renderings of design prototypes that are easily modified. Less expensive and faster than traditional sampling methods, SanMac 3D’s virtual twisted wire brush designs provide 360° visibility and industrialization feasibility testing prior to prototype build outs…maximizing design creativity while saving time, money and unnecessary delays. Such technology, combined with Sanderson MacLeod’s nearly 60 years of brush making experience, guarantee your brush development project is completed quickly, on budget and ready for large scale production.

A LEAN Manufacturing Company

One of the most compelling aspects of Sanderson MacLeod as a company is the dedication to LEAN manufacturing. LEAN Manufacturing allows Sanderson Macleod to produce twisted wire brushes more efficiently and effectively. Enhanced inventory control systems, product use analysis, and on-floor production optimization saves their customers money in innovative ways. Sanderson MacLeod has been widely recognized as a LEAN manufacturer, a designation that has contributed to awards like Business of the Year, Employer of Choice, Super 60 for Growth and the coveted Cordes Innovation Excellence Award.

Why Sanderson MacLeod

Real life examples of how Sanderson MacLeod leverages twisted wire brush expertise to solve problems for customers…

Extraordinary Measures Saves On Time Delivery Record

One of Sanderson MacLeod’s customers needed a large volume of brushes completed quickly in order to fulfill an important government supply contract. Sanderson MacLeod’s production team worked extra hours and drove parts as they were completed to waiting tractor trailers. The contract was fulfilled and the customer was able to maintain their on time delivery record with the federal government.

New Product Development Assistance Sets Customer Apart

A customer contacted Sanderson MacLeod because they needed technical information to provide their client. Through a series of joint engineering conference calls, Sanderson MacLeod provided the needed technical information; together Sanderson MacLeod developed a new product that the customer was able to provide to their customer. Through this partnership and combining expertise, Sanderson MacLeod was able to enhance the customer’s image in the eyes of their client which set them apart as an industry leader.

Customized Inventory Management Ensures On Time Delivery and Controls Costs

This customer contacted Sanderson MacLeod because their supplier was repeatedly late delivering product. Sanderson MacLeod developed and implemented a customized inventory pull system that ensures parts are available when needed while simultaneously reducing unnecessarily high inventory levels. By reviewing the company’s current demand for parts along with past order history, this customized system anticipates possible demand spikes and identifies the minimum inventory needed to satisfy demand.

We are ready to help you with your brush innovation and supply.