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Date: May 30, 2014
Contact: Anne Strong
Telephone: (301) 279-9697

History Associates Writes the 75-Year History of Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co. (NYSE: RS)

History Associates, the leading U.S. historical services firm, is pleased to announce the publication of Moving Metal: 75 Years of Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co., a commemorative history book for the company’s anniversary. “When the idea for an anniversary coffee table book was introduced, my first reaction was, ‘let’s do it,’” noted Reliance CEO David H. Hannah.

PR-RelianceCoverLike many large companies with a long history, the challenge in writing the story is finding a theme within the chronology, and Reliance was no exception. “At first look, Reliance has a very complicated structure – comprised of 24 divisions and 34 subsidiaries at press time,” noted author and senior historian Jamie Rife of History Associates. “However, through three generations of leadership, the company’s enduring success can be found in its strategy of combining big company resources and small company ingenuity.”

The story begins in 1939, when founder Thomas Neilan, an up-and-coming industrialist at the time, reluctantly accepted a few tons of rebar as payment for a loan. From these humble beginnings in a rented warehouse in Vernon, California, Reliance has grown into the largest metals service center company in North America, a member of the Fortune 500 with 14,000 employees in over 290 locations spread across 39 states and in 12 countries worldwide.

To develop the story, Mr. Rife conducted nineteen oral history interviews with key figures in Reliance’s past and present to get first-hand accounts and recollections. Historians at History Associates conducted documentary and image research in the company’s holdings and at repositories such as the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.  They also reviewed newspapers, trade journals, and other secondary publications for information about Reliance and background information on the metals industry in general. To accompany the story, they wrote sidebars that profiled the people and highlighted notable events through the years. Working closely with project personnel at Reliance, the team at History Associates drafted and edited the final manuscript and then coordinated the book’s design and printing.

The resulting 175-page Reliance history book, distributed as part of the anniversary celebration to employees, certain long-time shareholders, and others who contributed to the book’s content, was well received. “Reflecting on 75 years has been cause for celebration, but there’s more to it than that,” noted Mr. Hannah. “Our history tells the story of our future.”

About History Associates
For more than thirty years the historians and archivists at History Associates have demonstrated that history is valuable in the market as well as the marketplace of ideas. They provide professional corporate histories, exhibit content, interpretive planning, historical research, archival services, and collections management services to clients throughout the United States and around the world. History Associates strives to be The Best Company in History®, serving corporate, government, legal, and nonprofit clients from its headquarters in Rockville, Maryland. For more information, call (301) 279-9697 or visit

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