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Radcliff Wire Celebrates 65 Years

(l-r) Andrew LaForge, Membership Development Director, Central Connecticut Chambers of Commerce; Dawn Nielsen, City of Bristol Marketing & Public Relations Specialist; Jeanne Radcliff, CEO, Radcliff Wire; Jeff Caggiano, Mayor of Bristol; Charlie Radcliff, President, Radcliff Wire; Justin Malley, City of Bristol Economic & Community Development Executive Director; Susan Tyler, City Councilor

Mayor Caggiano and Charlie Radcliff discuss some of the applications for Radcliff's specialty wire.

Radcliff Wire recently celebrated its 65th anniversary with a ceremony at its facility in Bristol, CT.

Bristol Mayor Jeff Caggiano and City Councilor Susan Tyler attended the event. Other guests included Justin Malley, Executive Director, City of Bristol Economic & Community Development; Dawn Nielsen, Marketing & Public Relations Specialist, City of Bristol; and Andrew LaForge, Membership Development Director, Central Connecticut Chambers of Commerce.

Radcliff Wire President Charlie Radcliff and his sister, Radcliff Wire CEO Jeanne Radcliff, shared an overview of the company and its history and provided a tour of the facility.

"My father, Don Radcliff, started Radcliff Wire in 1959 to help spring manufacturers obtain special-shaped wire that wasn't available anywhere else," Charlie Radcliff said. "The company still offers wire that is difficult to find elsewhere," Radcliff said, citing the half-oval and crescent shaped mandrel wires the company currently manufactures for the medical industry, worldwide.

The group toured the factory's annealing, drawing, shaping and rolling departments and saw the vast array of shapes and alloys used in the wires the company produces.

Some of the more notable applications are in the industrial and aerospace industries. Industrial uses include wire that is used to create Heli-Coils and cable strain reliefs on robotic welding machines. Radcliff also produces special shaped wire used in the manufacture of small gas engines.

In aerospace, Radcliff's special shaped wire locks rivets onto the skin of an aircraft. Also, special flat wire is formed to make clips that are used to attach fuel lines, and diamond shaped wires are used for Heli-Coil replacement threads in engine assemblies.

The company also provides wire to the automotive and electronics industries, but it was the spring industry that gave the company most of its early business.

"There is a reason we are here," Charlie Radcliff said, noting that his father established the company in the heart of Connecticut's spring industry to be close to his customers. The development of Connecticut's spring industry, Jeanne Radcliff explained, was primarily driven by 19th century clock manufacturers.

In 1850, Connecticut clockmakers produced 511,000 clocks, with Bristol producing more than any other city in the state, making it the leading clock producer in the country. The presence of many small spring manufacturers in Central Connecticut today is the result of that phenomenon.

Radcliff Wire still provides wire for springs used in clocks and watches, but now its customers include manufacturers of smart phones, tablets, laptops and microprocessor chips.

The massive volume of wire the company produces is manufactured by a relatively small team. Radcliff Wire employs just 29 people, and half of them have been with the company for 20 years or longer.

"We are a family-owned business," Charlie Radcliff explained, "and our employees become part of our family. They feel this, and they tend to stick around."

For more information contact:

Radcliff Wire

97 Ronzo Road

P.O. Box 603

Bristol, CT 06011


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