Southern Research: 75 years of innovation celebrated in Alabama Power Archives exhibit

October marks 75 years that Birmingham has been home to Southern Research, a world-renowned scientific research organization. Beginning Tuesday, Sept. 27, the Alabama Power Archives Museum will recognize its founding with the exhibition "Southern Research: Celebrating 75 years of serving Birmingham and the world in scientific and engineering innovation."

In 1930, Stewart Lloyd, dean of Chemistry, Metallurgy and Ceramics at the University of Alabama, recommended that Birmingham business leaders create a research organization focused on developing the South’s vast resources. Ten years later, Alabama Power President Tom Martin proposed establishing a research laboratory and pledged the company’s support. On Oct. 9, 1941, the incorporators of the Alabama Research Institute held their first meeting.

Today, Birmingham-based Southern Research is a not-for profit organization with nearly 500 scientists and engineers working across four divisions: Drug Discovery, Drug Development, Engineering, and Energy & Environment. In addition to its Birmingham facilities, Southern Research has laboratories and offices in Wilsonville, Huntsville, Frederick, Md., Houston and Cartersville, Ga.

An opening reception for the exhibit will take place Sept. 27 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The Archives Museum is located in Alabama Power’s historic 1925 building, which is part of the company’s Corporate Headquarters in downtown Birmingham. Attendees can enter the museum at the 18th Street entrance to the 1925 building, near Sixth Avenue North.

To visit the museum during business hours, enter through the company’s main entrance at 600 North 18th St. and stop by the front desk to receive a pass. Museum hours are weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.