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Sumitomo Electric 120 Years of History

Next year, our company will celebrate its 120th anniversary. We would like to take this opportunity to launch a new project to review our history. This issue features the 15 years from 1930 as the period when we proceeded with a wide variety of research and development on a steady basis, and diversified into business fields other than electric wire.

3rd Round: 1930 – 1945

1930

Sumitomo Electric Wire & Cable Works, Limited establishes a research department, accelerating research and development of new products

The company began manufacturing a wide variety of products, including some that we still handle at Sumitomo Electric today.

IGETALLOY™ cemented carbide tools (1931)
“IGETALLOY™” cemented carbide tools (1931)
Special steel wires (1932)
Special steel wires (1932)
Vibration-proof rubber and fuel tanks (1943)
Vibration-proof rubber and fuel tanks (1943)

Sumitomo Electric Wire & Cable Works, Limited opens an ultra-high pressure laboratory.

Ultra-high pressure experiment room
Ultra-high pressure experiment room

Although there was a plan to construct a laboratory, it was postponed from 1924 due for various reasons, such as changes in the management environment. In 1940, however, construction of the laboratory was completed, followed by the launch of various research projects. Featuring a space more than 20 m high, the research facility could be used for many experiments, including ones generating enormous amounts of energy using voltage equipment designed by the company. In those days, this research facility was unparalleled in the world. At the inauguration ceremony, an open experiment of generating artificial lightning was conducted, stunning the invited guests.

1939

The company is renamed as the current “Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd.”

Since it had diversified into business fields other than electric wire, Sumitomo Electric Wire & Cable Works, Limited decided to change its name to the current “Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd.” in consideration of the fact that the company had its business origin in electric wire and electric equipment.

In 1945, based on a directive from the GHQ ordering the dissolution of conglomerates, the company was called on to change its name to something without “Sumitomo” and to abolish the “Igeta” mark. The name considered was Toho Electric Industries, Ltd. However, due to repeated postponement of enforcement of the directive and the occurrence of the Korean War, the directive eventually died a natural death. Consequently, the company never did change its name, and still uses the name “Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd.” today.

1941

Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd. launches operations at its Itami Works.

Ceremony to purify the Itami Works construction site
Ceremony to purify the Itami Works construction site

The company established the Itami Works in order to manufacture the cemented carbide tools “IGETALLOY™” and special steel wires, both of whose demand was surging in those days. Featuring clear air and quiet atmosphere, Itami was very suitable as a place for manufacturing cemented carbide, which requires precision.

1945

Osaka Works hit by four air raids.

Osaka Works, damaged by air raids
Osaka Works, damaged by air raids

1941 witnessed the beginning of the Pacific War.

From June to July 1945 at the end of the war, the Osaka Works experienced four separate air raids.Although the Works was severely damaged each time, the staff never gave up and continued ongoing restoration efforts, enabling the works to be restored soon after the war ended.


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