Home » 225 Years Of Wiring Excellence – How We’ve Stayed Successful For Two Centuries

225 Years Of Wiring Excellence – How We’ve Stayed Successful For Two Centuries

Happy anniversary to us!

We’ve spent two-and-a-quarter centuries creating the best and most diverse array of wiring products we can, all while remaining forward-thinking in our working practices.

The only way we’ve lasted 225 years is by making sure we’re up to date in the modern age – an ethos we’ve had from the very beginning.

Founded by James Ormiston in 1793, Ormiston Wire was a trend-setting company in an age of change.

In the same era, Mary Wollstonecraft was publishing A Vindication of the Rights of Women, King George the Third was ruling Britain and the production of wiring was still in its infancy.

One of James’s many innovations at his newly acquired premises was to set up several wire drawing devices. The device was described in the Wire Drawing Handbook like this:

‘A mill consisting of an iron plate is perforated with steel eyelets or holes of differing sizes. The ingot, or starting diameter wire as we know it today, is passed through the largest size hole and then one degree smaller and so is continued until it is drawn to the required size.’

While this was a necessarily primitive way of manufacturing wire, it was also incredibly effective and showed how the start of the British Industrial Revolution was significantly affecting the way everything was being produced around that time.

James had jumped aboard a fast-moving point in industry, one that put Ormiston Wire in rude health within a very short period.

It was a successful beginning, and the tradition of innovation by the Ormistons has carried on to the modern day.

In the modern day

Fast forward 200 years, through two centuries of successful business practices and profits, and meet Mark Ormiston, the current Managing Director of Ormiston Wire.

Much like his predecessors, Mark has spent his tenure keeping the family business relevant and making sure that his employees are treated as fairly as possible.

The company has also diversified the uses for its wiring with some amazing projects.

In 2005, the Bleigessen, a towering and beautiful sculpture, was unveiled to the public. And it wouldn’t have been possible without our strong and stable wiring.

This extract from a back issue of our newsletter explains the process more thoroughly:

‘The 29-metre high installation is made up of 142,000 glass spheres suspended on 840 kilometres of stainless steel wires, to give the effect of a frozen waterfall.

It took more than four months to string, hand and secure the wires, which are kept taut by nearly 27,000 springs. Ormiston has been supplying these wires – known as microcables – for more than 60 years.’

A huge job – and just one of many.

In the past century, we’ve had a hand in the production of the television series Thunderbirds, made the cars at McLaren safer, helped explorers traverse the Antarctic and even had our wiring implemented as part of a tourist attraction at Kew Gardens.

What keeps bringing these people to our doors?

In part, it’s because of our excellent products, our rich heritage and our insistence on environmentally friendly practices.

Our green credentials

We’ve been one step ahead of the eco-curve for many years. It’s a commitment that’s even brought Jonathan Bartley of the Green Party to our warehouse, and one we’ve further committed to when we gained an internationally recognised environmental qualification.

‘Our big question was this – how can we save money but maintain the quality of our products?

So we thought of simple solutions to complicated questions. We switched off lights in offices that weren’t being used, installed energy efficient lightbulbs, recycled our packaging and avoided landfill tax by purchasing a skip which is only emptied once every two years.

Our sustainability efforts were increased in 2003, when we became the first UK-based SME to generate our own power with solar panels and a wind turbine.

Reviewing the past 30 years, it’s clear that we’ve been at the forefront of sustainability, implementing a number of methods that other businesses are only just discovering.’


Our pioneering approach to business has kept us in good stead for 225 years, and we have plenty more future plans to keep the ensuing two centuries just as exciting for our business.

So let’s raise a glass to Ormiston Wire – a company that’s as dedicated to family as it is to manufacturing excellent wiring for any occasion.

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