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History Movie

Since the Company’s founding in 1897, Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd. has continued to take on challenges to achieve a prosperous and dream-filled future. In late 19th century, Japan was still heavily dependent on expensive imported electric cables. Sumitomo Electric decided to break ground with the electric wire business for the benefit of the nation. Starting with the production of copper and silicon copper wires, the Company played an important role in supporting the development of Japanese industries, succeeding in the first domestic production of high-voltage underground cables and the production and installation of the world's longest submarine cables.

120 years have passed since then. With its belief in the great potential of "innovation," the Sumitomo Electric Group will continue to contribute to the development of Japan and the world, both today and in the future.

The year 2017 marks the 120th anniversary of the founding of Sumitomo Electric. From an electric wire and cable manufacturer in Osaka 120 years ago, we have grown into a global leading company in automotive, infocommunications, electronics, energy and industrial materials industry. Take a journey through time and find out more about the defining moments in our history.



  • from1890
  • 1897

    Sumitomo Copper Rolling Works founded

     Sumitomo Copper Rolling Works founded
  • 1911

    Sumitomo Electric Wire and Cable Works established

    Sumitomo Electric Wire and Cable Works
  • 1914

    Developed trolley wire

    trolley wire
  • from1920
  • 1922

    Manufactured and installed 21 km of submarine power cable, the world’s longest at that time

    submarine power cable
  • 1927

    Started researching cemented carbide

  • 1929

    Delivery of Japan's first cable capacitator to Nippon Electric Power Company, Limited.

  • 1932

    Started production of special steel wire

  • 1940

    Successful domestic production of piano wire for valve springs of aircraft engines

  • 1941

    Successful production and stringing of the world's first 250kV transmission cable with Furukawa Electric Co., Ltd. (between Kurobe and Sasazu)

  • 1943

    Started production of anti-vibration rubber and fuel tanks

  • 1945

    Experienced four aerial bombings in WWII

    aerial bombings
  • 1948

    Started production and sales of sintered powder metal products

  • 1949

    Started automotive wiring harness business

  • from1950
  • 1950

    Typhoon Jane strikes Japan

    Typhoon Jane strikes Japan
  • 1951

    Delivery of piano wire to Chosei Bridge (Nanao City, Ishikawa Prefecture), Japan's first PC bridge

    Chosei Bridge at that time
  • 1954

    Succeeded in achieving domestic production of oil-tempered wire

  • 1957

    Succeeded in achieving domestic production of television broadcasting antennas

    Television broadcasting antennas
  • 1962

    Dywidag railway sleepers and air suspension for railway ties

  • 1964

    ●Started production of Sumitube™

    ●Parabolic antenna for syncom satellite, used to transmit live broadcasts of the Tokyo Olympic games

    parabolic antenna for syncom satellite
  • 1969

    ●Established first overseas factory in Thailand

    ●Start of FPC production

  • 1970

    ●Started production of compound semiconductors

    ●EXPO' 70
    Provide power cables, steel cords for moving walkways and traffic game

    steel cords
  • 1973

    Joint experiments on bus location systems, a first in Japan

    bus location systems
  • 1974

    ●Completed the Tokyo Traffic Control Center, one of world's largest

    ●Started production of optical fiber cables

  • 1976

    Hamana Bridge
    World's greatest span length using prestressed steel

  • from1980
  • 1980

    Started manufacture of parallel wire

    parallel wire
  • 1982

    ●Started experimental production of intelligent robot with advanced awareness and judgment functions

    ●Produced one of the world's largest synthetic monocrystal diamonds (1.2 carats).

  • 1992

    Opening of Kansai International Airport (provide comprehensive communications network system, contact power cable support and prestressed steel for paving)

    Opening of Kansai International Airport
  • 1992

    Started experiments on InGaAs crystal growth for the Space Shuttle Endeavour

  • 1998

    Installation of submarine cables in Tachibana Bay, Tokushima

  • 2006

    ●A world's first mass production of high-performance GaN MEMT

    ●Started power transmission via superconducting cable in actual power transmission lines

    power transmission lines
  • 2010

    Developed aluminum wiring harnesses

    wiring harnesses
  • 2016

    ●Started sales of the world's highest fiber count optical cables

    ●Construction of a 1 MW CPV power generation plant in Morocco and start of performance evaluation

    1 MW power generation plant
  • 2017

    400kV XLPE cable installation project in the UK and Belgium

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