The history of McWane traces its roots to the ingenuity of a family who lived in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Charles Phillip (C.P.) McWane entered the foundry business in 1871. His sons, Henry and James Ransom (J.R.), managed various parts of the family business.
"We may not be able to solve all of our problems overnight, but if we all make up our minds, we are going to do the right from day to day as we are given to see the right, everything will work out satisfactorily in the end."J. R. McWane, Founder
Birth of McWane
J. R. McWane settled in Birmingham, Alabama, and began a modest foundry enterprise, shifting to a coke and coal business when the foundry business faltered.
McWane Pipe Works
In 1904, Henry McWane set up a subsidiary, McWane Pipe Works, to make cast iron pipe and fittings. It was a promising line of business.
J. R. McWane Becomes General Manager of a Cast Iron Company
In 1908, J. R. McWane became General Manager of cast iron company and by 1915 had risen to President, all while establishing innovations in the industry along with worker welfare initiatives. He not only grew the business, but he was also known as a leader in employee relations.
McWane Cast Iron Pipe Company
In 1921, J. R. McWane left and began another new venture, the McWane Cast Iron Pipe Company. As America grew, so did the need to supply flourishing cities with clean water and to remove waste safely. As a result, McWane was able to grow his business. In 1926, he expanded operations from Birmingham to include a second facility in Provo, Utah, called the Pacific States Cast Iron Pipe Company.
William (Bill) McWane Becomes Company President
After the death of J. R. McWane in 1933, his son William (Bill) McWane became president. He remained focused on maintaining the two foundries through the good and bad times of the 1930s and World War II. In 1962, McWane expanded by acquiring Empire Coke Company, a manufacturer of foundry coke and by-products for foundries and other industrial operations.
James (Jim) Ransom McWane becomes Company President
In 1971, William McWane’s son James (Jim) Ransom McWane, became president of McWane Cast Iron Pipe Company. In 1975, he served as chairman and chief executive officer for McWane, Inc.
McWane Purchases Atlantic States Cast Iron Pipe Company
In 1975, McWane purchased Atlantic States Cast Iron Pipe Company of Phillipsburg, New Jersey, preserving American jobs in the process. The company next diversified by acquiring the Union Foundry Company, an Anniston, Alabama, waterworks fittings business.
5 Additional Companies Added to McWane Family
During the 1980s, McWane added M&H Valve Company acquired Clow Water Systems Company and Clow Valve Company. Kennedy Valve Company of Elmira, New York, was added in 1988. Subsequently, McWane strengthened its global commitment by establishing McWane International, which markets all McWane products worldwide.
McWane Expands to Canada
McWane entered the Canadian market in 1989 with the acquisition of Canada Pipe Company in Hamilton, Ontario. Following its entry into Canada, McWane further expanded its manufacturing by establishing Clow Canada in 1990, consolidating manufacturing operations in St. Johns, New Brunswick.
Additional Growth of McWane
In 1995, McWane acquired Tyler Pipe & Coupling in Texas. The company also purchased a couplings operation in California, now known as Anaco. During the late 1990s, McWane acquired the Bibby Companies through Canada Pipe, Tennessee-based Manchester Tank & Equipment Company, Brunner Manufacturing and Amerex Corporation of Trussville, Alabama.
McWane Enters Technology Markets
Then, in 2012, McWane began their diversification strategy into technology by adding Synapse Wireless to its portfolio of companies. Additional technology additions to McWane included Futurecom, an Ontario-based RF coverage extension solutions, and Nighthawk, a leading provider for wireless smart grid solutions. In 2014, McWane acquired United Kingdom-based Zinwave, a global company that has pioneered a new approach for reliable multi-service in-building wireless coverage.
Ductile Pipe Unification & Continued Expansion
In 2015, the McWane ductile iron pipe companies (Pacific States Cast Iron Pipe Company, Atlantic States Cast Iron Pipe Company and Clow Water Systems Company) unified under the brand McWane Ductile. The plants are now referred to as McWane Ductile – New Jersey, McWane Ductile – Ohio and McWane Ductile – Utah.
Today, McWane Inc. is led by Chairman Phillip McWane.
The company manufactures products in more than 25 facilities throughout North America and around the world. As a family owned and operated company, McWane strongly believes in contributing to the communities in which we operate. In addition to preserving and creating thousands of American jobs and contributing millions of tax dollars to the U.S. economy, McWane invests significantly in meeting the highest standards of health, safety and environmental excellence.
While looking to the future, McWane takes pride in its past, certain in the knowledge that an industry so important to our nation’s history remains a vital part of America’s future.