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Southwire Company records

Identifier: LH-0049

Scope and Contents note

This collection contains Southwire 30th anniversary items, booklets, brochures, magazines, and pamphlets. It also includes photographs of Roy Richards and a short book about Richards and the start of the company.


  • Majority of material found within Bulk, 1978-1990
  • 1978-2001


Conditions Governing Access note

Open to all users; no restrictions

Conditions Governing Use note

Rights have been transferred to the University of West Georgia.

Biographical/Historical note

Roy Richards, the founder of Southwire Company, was born in Carroll County, Georgia on April 11, 1912. At the age of ten he began working in his father’s sawmill and was given a management position at the age of fourteen. Richards attended the Georgia Institute of Technology where he received a degree in mechanical engineering in 1935. After graduating from college, Richards returned to Carrollton where he started a company in 1937, known as Richards and Associates, and began erecting power poles. In two and a half years, Richard’s company had strung 3,500 miles of cable and had become the second-largest REA contractor.

From 1942 to 1945, Richards served as the Professor of Military Science in the U.S. Army and held the rank of Captain. Upon returning to Carrollton after the war, Richard saw the need for wire following the wartime shortages. In 1950, he founded the Southwire Company and in 1953 developed a continuous casting method for aluminum rod. He furthered his continuous casting method to include copper rod, revolutionizing the wire-making industry and sending Southwire to the forefront of the industry. Beginning in 1967, Southwire opened six manufacturing plants, an aluminum smelter, a copper refinery, and began expanding into foreign markets including Thailand, Taiwan, Japan, China, and Saudi Arabia. Due to his ingenious achievements in the industry, Richards received numerous awards and accolades, including the John F. Kennedy “E” for Export award and the “Man of the Year” award from the Copper Club.

In 1985, Richards died of bone cancer at the age of 73. Following his death, the company was taken over by his son, Roy Richards Jr. In 1992, Southwire opened the D.B. Cofer Technology Center, creating a center for ongoing research and product testing by scientists and engineers. Close to the end of the twentieth century, the company also began collaborating with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the U.S. Department of Energy, and a list of industrial partners to develop superconducting power cables. These cables were introduced to the market in February 2000.

In January 2001, Southwire hired Stuart Thorn as president, giving him full responsibility of the company. A year later, Richards, Jr. retired from Southwire’s daily operations although he still serves as the company’s chairman. Today, Southwire continues to be North America’s leading manufacturer of wire and cable for electrical purposes with plants all over the United States and other countries.


0.63 Linear feet (2 boxes)




Materials pertaining to Southwire Company, a Carrollton company and North America’s leading manufacturer of wire and cable for electrical purposes.

Arrangement note

Arranged alphabetically by file title.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Donated by Southwire Company prior to 1976. Additions were donated on February 5, 1982 and November 3, 1982.

Processing Information note

Processed by Shannon Danielle Smith in 2009 and Candice Larson in 2016.

Guide to the Southwire Company records LH-0049
Finding aid prepared by Written by Candice Larson
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English

Repository Details

Part of the University of West Georgia Special Collections Repository

Special Collections, Ingram Library
University of West Georgia
1601 Maple Street
Carrollton GA 30118-2000 United States