Dwight Watt - Watt Thoughts #231 6/16/2011

#231 - IBM celebrates 100 years (Watt Thoughts)

Today, June 16, 2011 , IBM celebrated its 100th birthday.

IBM has been a leader in technology for over 100 years. From being a leader in punched card technology, to original computers, to the various components to major breakthroughs in the 60s to the first large scale use personal computer in the 1980s to other machines like the AS/400 and the ATM and the self checkout register at the grocery store to over 5000 new patents in just a recent time period.

IBM for most of that time has been considered the benchmark of technology although it has had its ups and downs. Well known for the dress code of the 60s and 70s and into 80s of long sleeve white shirt, dark tie and dark pants and coat. A relaxed code today.

However IBM goes before June 16, 1911 . That was the day that several companies merged (Computing Tabulating Recording Company was the resultant name) and made what became IBM in 1924. In 1924 the company was renamed to IBM (Internation Business Machines) In 1911 when the merger of several companies took place one was a business machine company who had the roots in punched cards. A number of computer companies we know today or did up to the late 1990s trace back to then with punched cards and adding machines. Burroughs and NCR to name two.

Tabulating Machine Company was the company on working with punched cards. It was founded by Herman Hollerith in 1896 after he had invented the punched card (80 column and the size of punched cards used until recently, which was the size of the dollar bill then, yes the dollar really is not as big as it used to be)while working for the census bureau in 1887 to do the census in 1890 as it had been by hand until then and was expected to take more than 10 years to compile the data. He also made the original card punch and reader. He had left the government and created a business for his invention.

So although IBM traces their 100 years to 1911 and had a major birthday today, it really is an older company and is really 115 years old.

Happy 100th or 115th birthday and hop you continue to lead in finding new technology to improve the world.



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