TW Metal's Company History

Company History

The Year was 1907...

The President of the United States was Teddy Roosevelt.

Women did not have the right to vote in most states. There was an outbreak of the Bubonic Plague in San Francisco. The first taxis started running in New York City. Oklahoma became the 46th state. The world’s first air force was established in the U.S. Army. The Boy Scouts were formed in England. And George E. Lees and Harold E. Williams formed the Lees-Williams Company, the forerunner of Williams and Company, Inc. and what would eventually become TW Metals, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 

First Facility

TW Metals was formed in 1998 through the merger of Tubesales and Williams & Company. Founded in 1907, Williams and Company, Inc. grew from a steel tubing distributor to one of America’s most respected providers of stainless, aluminum, copper, brass and nickel flat rolled products.Tubesales, 39 years its junior, opened in 1946 selling war surplus 4130 alloy airframe tubing on the West Coast.

Like Williams, success and customer recognition helped to grow Tubesales into an international Pipe and tubing distributor. Together the two companies offer over 150 years of experience in the steel distribution business. In October of 2005 TW Metals was acquired by O’Neal Steel and is now a proud member of the family-owned company based in Birmingham, AL.

Major Event Timeline


Williams & Company founded in Pittsburgh with an initial investment of 5,000 dollars. Harry Williams and 2 employees cut pipe to length with a manual hacksaw and delivered it by wagon, trolley and even on foot.


Harry Williams buys out his partner and adds Monel products to his carbon steel tubing line.


Williams added boiler tubing along with a complete line of Copper and Brass products.


Williams and Company enters a distribution agreement with Alcoa for Aluminum products making TW Metals Alcoa’s second oldest distributor.


Tubesales was started by Forrest G. (Frosty) Harmon and Mason E. Franklin. With a borrowed 10,000 dollars the partners opened their business from rooms over Tony’s Goodfellow’s Grill on Central Avenue in Los Angeles. The new company quickly developed a reputation for competitive pricing and a prompt delivery.


Williams opens an office in Louisville Kentucky to join facilities in Pittsburgh, Columbus, and Toledo.


Tubesales opens its first eastern branch in Englewood New Jersey.


Tubesales adds Aluminum to its product line and Superior moves to 100% ownership of Tubesales.


Tubesales opens its first international facility in Southampton U.K.


Tubesales Houston opens and the national inventory expands to include stainless steel, High Alloy fittings and flanges.


Tubesales implements TQP (Total Quality Process) and Tubesales France opens to serve the Aerospace Industry.


Tubesales became the first tubular distributor to earn ISO-9000 accreditation.


Tubesales establishes the Quick Response Team (QRT) to handle customers who require small amounts of material.


Williams & Company acquires Guggenheim Metals a distributor of copper, brass, and aluminum.


Tubesales Japan opens to serve Aerospace sub-contractors.


Tubesales acquires TD Materials a distributor of Aerospace Extrusions and Philip Cornes a nickel alloy and stainless distributor based in the U.K. At the end of the year Tubesales and Williams & Company who were both owned by The Superior Group were merged to form TW Metals.


TW Metals sold its Red Metals Unit and refocused on its core specialty metals business in tubing, pipe, bar, extrusions, and Aerospace Aluminum sheet & Plate.


Tw Metals Polska opens to service Aerospace customers in Eastern Europe.


TW Metals is purchased by O’Neal Steel and becomes part of what is now the High Performance Metals Group of O’Neal Industries.


TW Metals opens a facility in Bangalore India to service Aerospace sub-contractors. Philips Cornes opens a sales office in China.


TW Metals acquires Stainless Tubular Products (STP) a New Jersey based distributor of stainless tubing, pipe, fittings and bar with extensive in-house polishing capabilities.


TW Metals opens new facilities in Italy & Germany. 

Today TW metals operates 30 worldwide locations and is a leader in Specialty Metals distribution providing Global Supply Chain Solutions.

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