Angus Cannon Fox

Angus Cannon Fox

Angus Cannon Fox, Jr. established the first Mexican maquiladora in Tecate, Baja California in the summer of 1964, at the urging of Bruno Pagliai, an Italian-born Mexican industrialist. Fox, then a resident of Sylmar, California, met with Pagliai in Mexico City after reading an article about him titled Modern Medici in the May 10, 1963 issue of Time Magazine. Fox investigated Tijuana and Ensenada as possible locations for his business venture, but settled on Tecate because of its immediate proximity to the U.S. border, its low volume of commercial traffic at the border crossing, and because it was largely free of the carnival-like tourist atmosphere and generally unsavory reputation that characterized Tijuana. The manufacturing business established by Fox, which was named Electrónica del Noroeste S.A., was housed in a large brick building that had earlier been a capacitor plant. Located several blocks to the west of the town's beer factory on the same street. The building was leveled in the mid-nineties. While operating, the factory was equipped with Leesona 107 and 108 stick coil winders, George Stevens bobbin winders, band saws for singulating stick-wound coils, coalescing equipment for compressing the ends of singulated coils, vacuum equipment for impregnating singulated coils with varnish, and industrial ovens for baking the varnish-impregnated coils. Electrónica del Noroeste S.A. produced primarily transformers and solenoids for the U.S. market, and its customers included McCann's Engineering and Manufacturing Company (a Los Angeles manufacturer of soft drink dispensing machines), Friden Corporation (a San Leandro-based manufacturer of electromechanical calculators and other automated office equipment), and Hewlett-Packard Corporation. After Electrónica del Noroeste was sold to Genisco Technology, Inc. in 1968, Fox established another maquiladora in Tecate named, simply, Maquiladora Tecate. Located on the outskirts of town on the Ensenada highway in a brick building, landscaped with two palm trees, that had been a night club, Maquiladora Tecate manufactured similar products, as well as trigger coils for Honeywell photo strobe flashes and core memory used in early generations of mainframe computers. In early 1971, Fox was hired by his cousins, Joseph and Richard Ensign, to solve management and technical problems at Agua Prieta Electrónica, a maquiladora located in Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico that was a subsidiary of Chicago-based Ensign Coil Company. Agua Prieta Electrónica produced transformer windings using two highly-automated Bachi/Leesona carousel bobbin coil winders. During a weekly commute between El Cajon, CA and Douglas, AZ, Fox was killed on the evening of May 15, 1971 when his Cessna 172E (N5678T) crashed and burned following engine failure while on final approach to Gillespie Field over mountains to the east. Maquiladora Tecate was closed within weeks of his death. Fox’s daughter, Claudia, is married to U.S. Congressman Chris Cannon, an outspoken proponent of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

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