From its beginning, Menardi identified customers' filtration needs and has always been a leader in the development and introduction of new products. As a company, our growth was built on new products and our reputation was built on excellent quality.
We began in 1913. The original company, Southern Press Cloth Manufacturing Company, was founded in Augusta, Georgia and owned by Mr. Fielding Wallace. Mr. Wallace was later to become one of the charter members of the Augusta National Golf Club and president of the U.S. Golf Association.
At that time, it was discovered that a vegetable oil could be extracted from cottonseed. This oil would soon replace the animal fat oils used for cooking and baking. The hydraulic filter presses designed to crush cottonseed and extract the oil required strong, flexible filter mats. There were no synthetic fibers available in those days from which to weave the filter mats, and it was determined the ideal fiber to use was human hair. Tons of human hair were shipped from China into Augusta, Georgia, for washing, processing, and weaving into filter mats. Southern Press manufactured these filter mats and serviced customers all over the world.