Our History

A Dynamic History of Growth and Transformation Spanning Three Centuries

The company was founded in 1899, as a specialty pipe manufacturer for the burgeoning Pennsylvania oil industry. In 1945, Southco, Inc. was created with the entry into the specialty fastener and latch business. Over the past 60 years, we have transformed and grown through innovation, strategic acquisitions and overseas investments into a global leader in Engineered Access Hardware.

Southco solutions are a key part of products you and thousands of others interact with every day. Our engineered access hardware solutions include key "touch points" such as locks, latches, captive fasteners, hinges, handles and other innovative products.

Our application universe is immense and covers industries such as marine, automotive, off-highway/construction, RV/caravan, industrial machinery, enclosures, HVAC, medical equipment and network, telecommunications and computers.

For more than 100 years Southco has helped customers solve and overcome engineering challenges. Our passion, vision and focus today, is to help customers differentiate the engineered "touch points" of their products so they become easier to sell and use by the end users. We strive to realize this vision by investing in a strong technical sales and marketing team backed by engineering and operational excellence.

Southco is an industry leader of today and prepared for the possibilities of tomorrow.


Learn about Southco"s history through the timeline of milestones.

Timeline of Milestones

  • 1899

    South Chester Tube Company Founded

    South Chester Tube Company began as a manufacturer of tubing, pipe and couplings, which were used to extract oil from fields across the United States and transfer it to refineries.

  • 1945

    South Chester Corporation founded as a division of South Chester Tube Company.

    South Chester Corporation began manufacturing specialty fastener devices in Essington, Pennsylvania, USA. The Southco name is registered with the United States patent office in the following year and the products of the South Chester Corporation are marketed under the Southco name.

  • 1950

    Operations of South Chester Corporation moved from Essington, Pennsylvania to Lester, Pennsylvania, USA

    The Lester facility provided additional room for expansion to accommodate the company’s rapid growth.

  • 1955

    Acquired Lion Fastener Company, Honeoye Falls, New York, USA Acquired Dodge Steel, Philadelphia, PA, USA

    Southco acquired the Lion Fastener Company, a leader in quarter-turn fasteners. Southco acquired Dodge Steel, a steel foundry. These acquisitions greatly expanded Southco’s manufacturing capabilities and provided access to new markets.

  • 1965

    Opened Brandywine Manufacturing Facility, Concordville, Pennsylvania, USA Opened Honeoye Falls, New York, USA Manufacturing Facility

    These two new facilities provided added capacity for operations.

  • 1974

    Opened Corporate Office, Concordville, Pennsylvania, USA

    Southco's corporate office was relocated from Lester Pennsylvania to Concordville, Pennsylvania to be co-located with the existing manufacturing facility.

  • 1983

    Established European Operations with acquisitions in Germany and the United Kingdom

    Southco established its European presence with acquisitions in the United Kingdom and Germany. Further acquisitions in Italy, Spain and France in the ensuing years created the framework for Southco’s European sales force.

  • 1988

    Acquired Simmons Fastener Company and Thermo Products, Albany, New York, USA

    Southco gained new products as well as access to new markets.

  • 1992

    Opened direct sales and warehousing facility, Melbourne, Australia. Established partnership with NBK to sell Southco products in Japan.

    Southco’s Melbourne, Australia facility and partnership with NBK provided its first direct presence in the Asia Pacific region.

  • 1995

    Opened Direct Sales Office, Korea

    Southco continued its global outreach by establishing a direct sales presence in Asia.

  • 2001

    Opened Asia Headquarters, Hong Kong

    By opening a headquarters in Asia, Southco was poised to facilitate growth in the region.

  • 2002

    Opened Distribution and Assembly Facility, Shanghai, China

    The Shanghai distribution and assembly facility was Southco’s first facility in mainland China.

  • 2003

    Acquired Mobella, Eskilstuna, Sweden Opened Southco Marine Facility in Melbourne, Florida, USA.

    The Mobella acquisition brought products exclusively designed for the Marine Industry to Southco's product portfolio.

  • 2004

    Opened Fu Yong, China Manufacturing Facility Opened Automotive Engineering Center, Stuttgart, Germany Acquired Dzus and Hartwell-Dzus Companies

    The Fu Yong facility brought manufacturing capabilities closer to customers in south Asia. The Stuttgart engineering facility enabled greater connectivity with automotive customers in Germany. The Dzus acquisition complemented and expanded Southco's product offering.

  • 2005

    Acquired Shi Yan, China Manufacturing Facility Opened Shanghai, China Injection Molding and Assembly Facility Acquired CEMA Technologies, Audubon, PA, USA

    The Shi Yan and Shanghai facilities brought die casting and stamping capabilities (Shi Yan) and injection molding (Shanghai) closer to customers in Asia. The acquisition of CEMA Technologies added positioning technology to Southco's product portfolio.

  • 2008

    Opened Manufacturing, Engineering and Customer Service Center, Pune, India Opened Manufacturing and Assembly Facility, Chihuahua, Mexico

    Southco’s Pune facility established local technical, design, assembly and order fulfillment support to the region. Southco's Chihuahua facility expanded the company's North American footprint.

  • 2011

    Opened Expanded Design and Manufacturing Facility, Shenzhen, China

    Southco consolidated its Fu Yong and Shi Yan operations into one larger state-of-the-art factory in Shenzhen, China.