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Sumitomo Electric 120 Years of History

In April 2017, we will celebrate our 120th anniversary. We would like to take this opportunity to launch a new project to review our history. This issue features approximately 30 years from 1946 as the period in which we actively developed our operations, not only in Japan but also abroad.

4th Round: 1946 – 1977

1946

Sumitomo Electric Industries Ltd. opens a branch in Tokyo (present-day Tokyo Head Office).

1947

His Majesty the Emperor Hirohito visits the Osaka Works.

His Majesty the Emperor Hirohito, inspecting our ultra-high pressure laboratory
His Majesty the Emperor Hirohito, inspecting our ultra-high pressure laboratory

His Majesty the Emperor Hirohito made a tour of inspection all over Japan to confirm the progress of the post-war recovery and to console war victims. Our Osaka Works was selected as one of the tour destinations. We were honored to be encouraged by his Majesty the Emperor, who said that since what we did was important work, we needed to continue to work hard.

The year 1947 was our 50th anniversary year, making the visit of his Majesty the Emperor even more commemorable.

1948

Sumitomo Electric begins sales of sintered parts.

1949

Sumitomo Electric launches the automotive wiring harness business.

1961

Sumitomo Electric opens the Yokohama Works.

To build our Yokohama Works, we used prestressed concrete (PC), which was drawing attention as the cutting-edge concrete component in those days, partly for the purpose of promoting our special steel wire products. Use of the material enabled the number of pillars in the works to be reduced. As the first structure using PC in Japan, the Yokohama Works continued to draw many visitors even during its construction.

Construction of the communications cable plant of the Yokohama Works
Construction of the communications cable plant of the Yokohama Works
Equipment at the communications cable plant of the Yokohama Works
Equipment at the communications cable plant of the Yokohama Works

Sumitomo Electric installs an overhead cable for power transmission across the Naruto Strait.

To install an overhead power transmission cable from Awaji Island to Shikoku Island, the opposite side of the Naruto Strait, we attached 77 balloons to the cable and had it towed by a ship. While the currents of Naruto were whirling, the ship left for Shikoku and arrived at the destination safe and sound two hours later, with a successful end to the world’s first attempt of this kind.

Installation project
Installation project
1962

Sumitomo Electric begins to manufacture electron beam irradiated tubes IRRAX™ TUBE.

1969

Sumitomo Electric establishes its first overseas manufacturing base.

Sumitube™
Sumitube™

We established SIAM Electric Industries Co., Ltd., a joint venture with a local company, in Bangkok, Thailand, and began to manufacture and sell magnet wires and other products. Immediately after launching the operation, the joint venture filled approximately 80% of magnet wire demand in Thailand.

1970

Sumitomo Electric begins to manufacture compound semiconductors.

Compound semiconductor substrates
Compound semiconductor substrates

Exhibits (traffic game, power transmission and communications cables, etc.) of Sumitomo Electric attract wide attention at the Japan World Exposition.

Traffic game
Traffic game

Traffic game

Our traffic game served as the main feature of the Automobile Pavilion. The game was an unusual exhibition in those days in that it was designed to allow visitors to participate. During the game, colorful miniature cars were running around on the course set like a grid in a circular space. If the player succeeded in making his/her miniature car make a round trip between the original base and the one on the opposite side three times in a row within about two minutes, a commemorative item was given to the player.

Of 250,000 participants, only about 3% of them succeeded in the game. This exhibition was honored by five visits from members of the Imperial family, including the current Emperor, or his Highness the Crown Prince as he was in those days.

1974

Sumitomo Electric begins to manufacture optical fiber cables.

1975

Large-scale project conducted abroad 1
– power transmission cable installation in Iran

Power transmission cable installation project in Iran
Power transmission cable installation project in Iran

This project was performed under severe climate conditions, where the temperature exceeded 50℃ under the blazing sun in the middle of summer in the southern desert area, with snow in winter and a temperature that dropped to nearly -30℃ in the central area. This was the first project in which we installed a power transmission cable in the Middle East. We overcame a wide variety of unexpected difficulties, and the know-how obtained in the project was utilized considerably for our subsequent construction projects.

1976

Large-scale project conducted abroad 2
– communications network establishment in Nigeria

Communications network establishment project in Nigeria
Communications network establishment project in Nigeria

We won a contract from the Nigerian Ministry of Communication to establish a telephone network in a city. There was no parallel in the world in those days in terms of the scale of a telephone network that would be built by a single company. A total of 300 Japanese staff members and 2,000 local staff were engaged in the project, and it took 11-and-a-half years after we received the order before completion of the project. The success of the project gave us great confidence, which was maintained in our subsequent projects.

1977

Sumitomo Electric releases the first issue of Sumitomo Electric Newsletter, the forerunner of SEI World.

Sumitomo Electric Newsletter, Vol. 1
Sumitomo Electric Newsletter, Vol. 1

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