HISTORY OF IBM
International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) is an American multinational technology company headquartered in Armonk, New York, United States, with operations in over 170 countries. The company began in 1911 as the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company (CTR) and was renamed “International Business Machines” in 1924.
nternational Business Machines, or IBM, nicknamed Big Blue, is a multinational computer technology and IT consulting corporation headquartered in Armonk, New York, United States. IBM originated from the bringing together of several companies that worked to automate routine business transactions. In 1911 the company that leased Unit record equipment, especially Hollerith punched cards and card readers to government bureaus and insurance agencies, became the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company (CTR).Thomas J. Watson (1874-1956) took over in 1924, using the name “International Business Machines.” IBM expanded into electric typewriters and other office machines. Watson was a salesman and concentrated on building a highly motivated, very well paid sales force that could craft solutions for clients unfamiliar with the latest technology. His motto was “THINK”; customers were advised to not “fold, spindle or mutilate” the delicate cardboard cards. IBM’s first experiments with computers in the 1940s and 1950s were modest advances on the card-based system. Its great breakthrough came in the 1960s with its Model 360 mainframe. IBM offered a full range of hardware, software and service agreements, so that users as their needs grew would stay with “Big Blue.” Since most software was custom-written by in-house programmers, and would run on only one brand of computers, it was too expensive to switch brands. Brushing off clone makers, and facing down a federal anti-trust suit, the giant sold reputation and security as well as hardware, and was the most admired American corporation of the 1970s and 1980s.
The late 1980s and early 1990s were cruel to IBM—losses in 1993 exceeded $8 billion—as the mainframe giant failed to adjust quickly enough to the personal computer revolution.Desktop machines had the power needed, and were vastly easier for both users and managers than multimillion-dollar mainframes. IBM did introduce a popular line of microcomputers—but it was too popular. Clone makers undersold IBM, while the profits went to chip makers like Intel or software houses like Microsoft. After a series of reorganizations IBM has become one of the world’s largest computer companies and systems integrators. With over 400,000 employees worldwide as of 2014, IBM holds more patents than any other U.S. based technology company and has twelve research laboratories worldwide. The company has scientists, engineers, consultants, and sales professionals in over 175 countries. IBM employees have earned five Nobel Prizes, four Turing Awards, five National Medals of Technology, and five National Medals of Science.
1880s–1924: The origin of IBM
- The roots of IBM date back to the 1880s. Since the 1960s or earlier, IBM has described its formation as a merger of three companies: The Tabulating Machine Company (with origins in Washington, D.C. founded in 1896), the International Time Recording Company(founded 1900 in Endicott), and the Computing Scale Company
- The new company, named the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company(CTR), was incorporated on June 16, 1911 in the state of New York, U.S.A. CTR was a holding company; the now five companies were an amalgamation. The individual companies continued to operate using their established names until the holding company was eliminated in 1933
- 1906: Hollerith Type I TabulatorThe first tabulator with an automatic card feed and control panel.1911: FormationCharles Flint, a noted trust organizer, engineers the amalgamation of four companies: The Tabulating Machine Company, the International Time Recording Company, the Computing Scale Company of America, and the Bundy Manufacturing Company. The amalgamated companies manufacture and sell or lease machinery such as commercial scales, industrial time recorders, meat and cheese slicers, tabulators, and punched cards. The new holding company, Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company, is based in Endicott. The five companies have 1,300 employees with offices and plants in Endicott and Binghamton, New York; Dayton, Ohio; Detroit, Michigan; and Washington, D.C.
- 1914: Thomas J. Watson arrivesThomas J. Watson Sr., a one-year jail sentence pending – see NCR – is made general manager of CTR. Less than a year later the court verdict was set aside. A consent decree was drawn up which Watson refused to sign, gambling that there would not be a retrial. He becomes president of the firm Monday, March 15, 1915.1914: First disabled employeeCTR companies hire their first disabled employee.
- 1915: “THINK” signs”THINK” signs, based on the slogan coined by Thomas J. Watson, Sr. while at NCR and promoted by John Henry Patterson (NCR owner) are used in the companies for the first time.
- 1916: Employee educationCTR invests in its subsidiary’s employees, creating an education program. Over the next two decades the program would expand to include management education, volunteer study clubs, and the construction of the IBM Schoolhouse in 1933.
- 1917: CTR in BrazilPremiered in Brazil in 1917, invited by the Brazilian Government to conduct the census, CTR opened an office in Brazil
- 1920: First Tabulating Machine Co. printing tabulator.With prior tabulators the results were displayed and had to be copied by hand.
- 1923: CTR GermanyCTR acquires majority ownership of the German tabulating firm Deutsche Hollerith Maschinen Groupe (Dehomag).
- 1924: International Business Machines CorporationWatson had never liked the clumsy hyphenated title of Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company and chose the new name both for its aspirations and to escape the confines of “office appliance”.