/images/History_button.jpg/images/RoySr.Lines.jpgOur History... Our Storyour-history-our-story.htmWhen Roy Richards, Sr. founded a wire and cable manufacturing business to help bring electricity to rural Carroll County, Georgia, he had a particular customer in mind. Fresh out of the U.S. Army, Richards sought to run power lines to his grandmother
ENU
Register Now Forgot Password?

Our History... Our Story

When Roy Richards, Sr. founded a wire and cable manufacturing business to help bring electricity to rural Carroll County, Georgia, he had a particular customer in mind.

Fresh out of the U.S. Army, Richards sought to run power lines to his grandmother’s home. Getting the lines there was no problem. Richards owned a construction company that erected poles and ran wire for utilities. At the same time, funding from the U.S. Rural Electrification Administration (REA) was bringing the promise and convenience of electricity to much of the South.

 The trouble was finding enough wire. During a conversation with a wire manufacturer, Richards learned it would be three years before the company could deliver wire to western Georgia. A company representative asked why Richards was in such a hurry, joking that farms in the area had operated for hundreds of years without power.

 Richards’ stern reply brought his vision into clear focus. "My grandmother is 85 years old, and she has never had the pleasure of sitting under an electric light in her own house,” he told the manufacturer. “She’s seen it two times she’s been to Atlanta, but she’s never had it."

 That pivotal moment marks the start of Southwire Company.

Our roots extend to 1937, when Richards, then a young 25 years old, started a company to erect power poles. Two years earlier, he had graduated from Georgia Tech. While the promise of jobs paying $80 a month lured 90 percent of his classmates to New York, Richards chose to stay in Carroll County, a commitment he kept even after Southwire grew into a leading player in the wire and cable industry.

During its first two and a half years, Richards and Associates strung 3,500 miles of cable, becoming the nation’s second-largest REA contractor. As World War II halted all REA construction, Richards joined the U.S. Army, eventually reaching the rank of captain.

He returned home to find that power poles put up by his company often stood wireless for months because of post-war shortages in wire. Seeing that a market existed, he decided the only way to ensure a steady supply of wire was to make it himself.

On March 23, 1950, Southwire Company started producing wire with 12 employees and second-hand machinery. Since that time, we have introduced many new innovative products and processes. From our Southwire Continuous Rod® technology for continuously casting copper and aluminum rod to our work in the development of high-temperature superconducting power cables, Southwire has dramatically changed the way wire and cable are made.

It all started with one man’s desire to make life easier for his friends and neighbors. That commitment to technological innovation, customer service, employee empowerment and improving our communities remains the cornerstone of our company today.