Fulfilling a Critical Need
In 1921, JR McWane began operation of McWane Cast Iron Pipe Company in Birmingham, Alabama. Initially, this foundry manufactured small diameter ductile iron pipe, but over time expanded to produce larger diameters.
Production of cast iron pipe at the Birmingham plant helped fulfill the need of growing cities to have adequate water distribution materials available, giving them the ability to provide clean, safe drinking water and to safely remove wastewater.
As the country grew, McWane continued to grow as well. In 1926, McWane Cast Iron Pipe Company and Columbia Steel Company of San Francisco, California built Pacific States Cast Iron Pipe Company on a 326-acre site in Provo, Utah.
This facility helped serve the rapidly growing western United States and provided a market for some of the pig iron production of Columbia Steels blast furnace in Ironton, Utah. At the time of construction, the Provo location employed 125 people and had a manufacturing capacity of 35 tons per day.
In 1929, Mr. George Sibbett bought out Columbia Steel’s interest in the company, and that remained so until 1937 when Mr. Sibbett sold his share of the company to the McWanes.
By 1937, the Provo plant’s production capacity had grown to 150 tons per day and the number of employees had increased to roughly 400 people. By 1953, the foundry was not only producing pipe, but also fittings, valves, and hydrants. The manufacturing of these products continued until 1982, when the valve, hydrant, and machine shop were closed in order to focus on the production of pipe only.
Expansion continued in 1975 with the purchase of Atlantic States Cast Iron Pipe Company in Phillipsburg, New Jersey, a plant that made its first water pipe in 1856.
Expansion to Supply North America
In 1985, to further enable McWane to provide water distribution and infrastructure products throughout the United States and Canada, McWane purchased Clow Corp., one of the oldest and largest water products company in the country.
Located in Coshocton, Ohio, Clow Water Systems began operations in 1878. Additionally, in 1989 McWane acquired pipe production assets from Canron in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, forming Canada Pipe.
Unified as Iron Strong
In 2015 a re-branding took place which merged the divisions of Pacific States Cast Iron Pipe Company, Clow, and Atlantic States Cast Iron Pipe Company all under the name of McWane Ductile.
The re-branding created a unified company, making all the divisions recognizable as part of the McWane family of companies and strengthening the “Iron Strong” brand. Canada Pipe retained its name.
Sustainable Operations, Sustainable Products
A clear vision from the leaders of McWane has always placed environment, health, and safety at the core of our business. Over the years, McWane has performed numerous life cycle analyses on several of its key products to identify opportunities to reduce McWane’s impact on the environment through conservation, waste reduction, process improvements, and other means. The ductile iron produced by McWane Ductile is made from 100 percent recycled scrap iron and steel, and the final product is recyclable after its long, useful life.
Decades of being in business brings with it many changes and economic uncertainties. With the perseverance, and leadership of generations of McWanes – from JR McWane, William (Bill) McWane, James (Jim) and current Chairman, Charles Phillip McWane, along with the strong dedication of its many employees – the company has not just survived but is thriving as McWane Ductile.
McWane Ductile now manufactures 3-inch to 36-inch pipe and employs more than 900 people. McWane Ductile remains committed to investing in the future of its business, employees, and communities by continuing to provide long-lasting, sustainable products to Iron Strong cities and communities across the United States and Canada, for generations to come.
Need Assistance with Your Water Infrastructure Project?
McWane Ductile offers multiple services for our customers extending far beyond manufacturing ductile iron pipe. From design to installation, we take great pride in providing education and assistance to water professionals throughout the water industry. Contact your local McWane Ductile representative, today!
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