The Early Years
1930 – less than 24 employees, 1 plant
It all started when Major James Lide Coker and Walter F. Smith formed the Southern Novelty Company in Hartsville, SC, a small manufacturer of the first patented conical paper yarn carriers and parallel tubes. We opened new regional plants in New Jersey and North Carolina, and later, Connecticut and Massachusetts, before expanding into Canada. After President Major Coker's death in 1917, his son Charles Westfield Coker took over, followed by his own son, James Lide Coker III, in 1930. Even in its earliest stages, Sonoco began to look across the pond for new ventures in Europe, forming a cotton partnership with English investors in as early as 1922.