The Siemon Company (www.siemon.com), a pioneer in structured cabling systems, is celebrating 100 years of operation. The company, which was launched in Connecticut in 1903 by Carl F. Siemon, is run today by his great-grandson, Carl N. Siemon.
Company leaders, during a recent celebration at its Watertown, CT headquarters, met with employees in the company parking lot for an anniversary cookout. Members of the press and the public were given a tour of the facilities, viewing everything from fiber connector assembly operations to research and development laboratories.
Carl F. Siemon, a chemist with experience in plastics, began the company as Siemon Hard Rubber Company. Working with partner Waldo Bryant, the company created imitation stag-horn knife handles out of a durable plastic. The company entered the fledgling telecommunications market in 1906 by manufacturing a 3-pole connecting block. The block resisted the cracking and breaking that was common with the ceramic blocks of the day. It became a staple product for Western Electric, now known as AT&T.
Employees with The Siemon Company form the company logo in the parking lot of the manufacturing facility in Watertown, CT.
The company would later produce ear and mouthpieces for early telephones, plastic dinnerware for the U.S. Navy in World War II, and phonograph records.
Carl N. Siemon is credited with helping to drive The Siemon Company to produce brand name products for the structured cabling industry. He says that, ironically, he never planned to work for his family's company. But his plans changed when he graduated from college, and his father asked him to help out on a temporary basis.
"I said I would help for a year. Now The Siemon Company has been my life," says Carl N.
Through his leadership, the company produced network jacks, patch panels, tools, testers and more for the computer networking industry. By the 1990s, the company was a world-class supplier of structured cabling systems. It was the first company to deliver a Category 6 cabling solution, and now offers a commercially available Category 7 solution.
The company's cabling system products are manufactured onsite from raw materials. The Siemon Company was issued more than 300 patents in the past 45 years alone.
Faced with a downturn in the telecommunications market at home, The Siemon Company is branching into markets in Europe and Africa. The company is investing heavily in operations in France, Germany and Italy and China. "These markets represent potential," says Carl N. Siemon.
Still, he says The Siemon Company faces many challenges in today's market: "We don't see signs of easy growth. It will be more likely that we can take market share from somebody else for the foreseeable future."