About Red Brand

Standing Guard Since 1889

Peter Sommer and his sons invented the first machine to weave wire into fence. Surely, they didn’t expect that the company Sommer founded would be a thriving steel and fence manufacturer 130 years later. But, that’s what happened when a patent was issued in 1889 to Sommer and his sons, John and Peter, for the first wire fence-weaving machine. The original machine was built by hand, as was the fence that came off it. The mesh pattern resembled a keystone, and thus, two years after the first machine was built, the company was named Keystone Woven Wire Fence Company.

The Development of Red Brand

This new fence solution was transformational, not only for Sommer, but for his neighbors. At first, the father and son team could produce about 200 feet of fence in a 16-hour day. However, as word of his invention began to spread, Sommer and his sons were forced to improve their methods to keep up with demand. After moving and expanding the facilities several times, the company settled at its current location in Bartonville, Illinois, adjacent to Peoria. The location was a strategic move, as Keystone could take advantage of the newly expanded railroad yards and proximity to the Illinois River.

In the first decade of the new century, Keystone grew tremendously. In fact, the need for steel was so great that the company built its own steel mill in 1902. A wire mill followed three years later in order to meet the demand for high-quality materials. Barbed wire and nails were added to the list of company offerings. With the introduction of steel manufacturing, the company reorganized and adopted its current name, Keystone Steel & Wire in 1907.

Company Mission

We will continuously strive to meet or exceed our customers’ expectations, allowing us to prosper in the steel and wire industry through the integration of people, systems and technology.

To accomplish this mission we must …

For Our Customers

Make customers the focus of everything we do in our business. Our responsibility is to provide products and services that meet or exceed their expectations for value, quality and timeliness.

For Our People

Be committed to the Liberty Steel & Wire 2000 process, a joint union/management effort that seeks a creative and flexible response to the needs of Liberty Steel & Wire, its employees, and customers.

For Systems & Technology

Allocate resources to provide continuous improvement of our skills, equipment and processes. Our continued competitiveness depends on the development of people, systems, and technology that enable us to attract and satisfy customers.

For Those Who Depend on Red Brand

Maintain responsible relationships with our stockholders, employees, retirees, suppliers, and communities. Those who depend on Red Brand and have a stake in our continued success, expect us to build a climate of trust in which everyone works to achieve our company’s mission.

Liberty Steel & Wire

Red Brand’s legacy is bolstered by the company that shares it’s roots. Keystone Woven Wire Fence Company was born out of the need for a consistent, high-quality supply of steel to meet the demands of Red Brand fence customers. In 1902 our first steel mill was built near Peoria, Illinois. Red Brand is now part of the family of companies that make up Liberty Steel & Wire, headquartered in Dallas, Texas. Liberty Steel & Wire produces high quality steel fabricated wire products, industrial wire and wire rods.