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Thinking Of Grandma

November 12, 2012

Southwire Company has its roots back to 1937 when Roy Richards, Sr. who was then 25 established in Carroll County, Georgia, a company to erect power poles. It became the second-largest U.S. Rural Electrification Administration (REA) contractor when the company, Richards and Associates strung 3,500 miles of cable in its first two and a half years of existence.

WW II halted all REA construction. Returning home after the war Richards wanted to run power lines to his grandmother’s home so she could have electricity and the rest of the neighborhood as well. It turned out a wire manufacturer could only supply wire to western Georgia in three years time.

A company representative inquired from Richards why he was in such a hurry joking that farms in the area had been operating for hundreds of years without power.  Richards sternly replied that his grandmother was 85 years old and never sat under an electric light and only saw it twice in Atlanta, but never had it.

This gave Richards a clear vision of what he wanted to do, put up his own wire manufacturing company. He saw an underserved market due to the post war-shortage. Using second-hand machinery Southwire Company started making wire with 12 employees in March 1950. The company was able to ship out 5 million pounds of wire only two years later and had also doubled its plant size.

A turning point came when Southwire was able to develop a new method of producing wire faster and of higher quality. Now, half of the copper rod for electrical wire and cable is manufactured using the patented Southwire Continuous Rod (SCR) method.

Today Southwire is one of the largest cable and wire manufacturers in the entire world. One in three newly built homes in the U.S. contains wire made by Southwire. It manufactures building wire and cable, utility and industrial power cable, cord products, telecommunications cable, and copper and aluminum rods.

It all began with an entrepreneur thinking about his grandma.

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