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Timeline of IBM History

A timeline of the major achievements of IBM.


IBM or big blue as the company has been affectionately called has been a major innovator of computer and computer related products during this century and the last. However, before there was IBM, there was C-T-R, and before C-T-R there was the companies that were to one day merge and become the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company.

1. 1896 Tabulating Machine Company

Herman Hollerith - Punch Cards
Herman Hollerith founded the Tabulating Machine Company in 1896, which was later incorporated in 1905, and later still became part of C-T-R. Hollerith received the first patents for his Electric Tabulating Machine in 1889.

2. 1911 Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company

In 1911, Charles F. Flint, a trust organizer, oversaw the merger of Herman Hollerith's Tabulating Machine Company with two others: the Computing Scale Company of America and the International Time Recording Company. The three companies merged into one company called the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company or C-T-R. C-T-R sold many different products including cheese slicers, however, they soon concentrated on manufacturing and marketing accounting machines, such as: time recorders, dial recorders, tabulators, and automatic scales.

3. 1914 Thomas J. Watson, Senior

In 1914, a former executive at the National Cash Register Company, Thomas J. Watson, Senior becomes the general manager of C-T-R. According to IBM's historians, "Watson implemented a series of effective business tactics. He preached a positive outlook, and his favorite slogan, "THINK," became a mantra for C-T-R's employees. Within 11 months of joining C-T-R, Watson became its president. The company focused on providing large-scale, custom-built tabulating solutions for businesses, leaving the market for small office products to others. During Watson's first four years, revenues more than doubled to $9 million. He also expanded the company's operations to Europe, South America, Asia and Australia."

4. 1924 International Business Machines

In 1924, the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company is renamed the International Business Machines Corporation or IBM.

5. 1935 Accounting Contract With U.S. Government

The U.S. Social Security Act was passed in 1935 and IBM's punched card equipment was used by the U.S. government to create and maintain employment records for the then current population of 26 million Americans.

6. 1943 Vacuum Tube Multiplier

IBM invents the Vacuum Tube Multiplier in 1943, which used vacuum tubes for performing calculations electronically.

7. 1944 IBM's First Computer The Mark 1

MARK I Computer

In 1944, IBM and Harvard University jointly developed and built a Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator or ASCC , also known as the Mark I. This was IBM's first attempt to build a computer.

8. 1945 Watson Scientific Computing Laboratory

IBM founded the Watson Scientific Computing Laboratory at Columbia University in New York.

9. 1952 IBM 701

IBM 701 EDPM Control Board
Mary Bellis
In 1952, the IBM 701 was built, IBM's first solo computer project and its first production computer. The 701 uses IBM's magnetic tape drive vacuum technology, a precursor to magnetic storage medium.

10. 1953 IBM 650, IBM 702

In 1953, the IBM 650 Magnetic Drum Calculator electronic computer and the IBM 702 were built. The IBM 650 becomes a best seller.
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