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"S" is for Swansea Veneer and Basket Works

"S" is for Swansea Veneer and Basket Works. Founded in 1914 by Washington Bartow Rast, the Swansea Veneer and Basket Works was an expansion of Rast’s veneer mill that he had started in 1896. Initially the factory made banana drums, barrels, furniture, and fine veneers. By 1903 production was expanded to include wooden crates, boxes, and baskets used by South Carolina’s burgeoning truck-farming industry. By 1920 Swansea’s location as a railroad stop on the Coastline Railroad enabled the factory’s products to be used for shipping from Lexington County points all over the eastern seaboard and into Canada. When Rast’s son, Lewis Oliver Rast, joined his father in the business, it became known as W.B. Rast’s Son’s Company. After Washington Bartow Rast died, his son continued managing the company until it ceased operations in 1964.

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Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar received his B.A. degree from Davidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.