Gallery: IBM: 100 years of THINKing big

Gallery: IBM: 100 years of THINKing big

Summary: IBM used its motto "Think" wisely - as it celebrates a century of spectacular achievements in technology


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  • On June 16, 1911, the Tabulating Machine Company, Computing Scale Company of America and International Time Recording Company merged to form the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company later known as IBM. Its technologies included industrial time clocks, electronic tabulating machines, and commercial scales.

    One hundred years later, International Business Machines has been the most successfully technology company in the world having earned more than 75,000 U.S. patents, spending more than $150 billion on research, and  employing five Nobel lauriets.

  • In 1914, CTR made its biggest move hiring Thomas R. Watson as its president. Watson led the company through three major wars, the Great Depression, and the beginning of the Cold War. He helped the company double revenues to $9 million in his first four years and led its global expansion at a time when the country was isolationist.

    Watson is probably best known for his motto at IBM: THINK. Here's his explanation:

    "And we must study through reading, listening, discussing, observing and thinking. We must not neglect any one of those ways of study. The trouble with most of us is that we fall down on the latter -- thinking -- because it's hard work for people to think, And, as Dr. Nicholas Murray Butler said recently, 'all of the problems of the world could be settled easily if men were only willing to think.' "

    On this page you can hear a 1915 audio recording from Watson.

Topic: IBM

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  • RE: Gallery: IBM: 100 years of THINKing big

    please proofread before you publish.
    • RE: Gallery: IBM: 100 years of THINKing big

      @blinkinandnod True, but "the most successfully technology company in the world" still sounds good even when mistyped.
  • RE: Gallery: IBM: 100 years of THINKing big

    I am a retired employee with the Co. for 38 years, in the Customer Engineering Division. Twenty years as a Field
    anager. I had my own branch office at Islip Airport on Long Island N.Y. were we installed the Air Traffic Control System. I also was assigned to White Plains H.Q. to write the SOP manual for Branch Managment which I successfully completed. I am proud to be an IBMer.
  • RE: Gallery: IBM: 100 years of THINKing big

    I still have my original Fortran manual for the IBM 650 (1,000 calculations a second) the IBM 1620 Also the original IBM internal manual for PL/1 which originally was called NPL.
    The Old Timer
  • RE: Gallery: IBM: 100 years of THINKing big

    Memories - sure makes me feel old. I worked on the very first releases of S/360 BEFORE there the Disk Operating System was in place - Original COBOL and RPG, as a very young trainee. IBM gave me my start in computing...
  • RE: Gallery: IBM: 100 years of THINKing big

    I worked for IBM for 30 years and I never heard of this Thomas R Watson fellow. The company I worked for was run by T. J. Watson, first the Sr and then the Jr. Don't you people do any proofing of your stories?
  • RE: Gallery: IBM: 100 years of THINKing big

    I guess it's been long enough that no one knows typewriter terminology anymore. "Keys" are the things on the keyboard, and are obviously still used. The IBM Selectric did away with "hammers," which struck the ink onto the paper.
  • RE: Gallery: IBM: 100 years of THINKing big

    .. and here's where IBM will be going in the next 100 years: and
    a foot in both camps
  • RE: Gallery: IBM: 100 years of THINKing big

    You totally missed the invention of the disk hard drive in 1956 in San Jose. It's the storage invention that has made cheap, quickly available data a reality for the entire internet. The invention of mag tape is mentioned, but it's a bit player against the disk drive.
  • IBM

    A Great Company. I just wish that they would have kept it a family operated company.
  • RE: Gallery: IBM: 100 years of THINKing big

    They have missed out two potentially most significant aspects of IBM developments: Virtual Storage that worked (1972) on System/370 and the ditching of Future Systems (S/38 and System R are remnants) and thereby avoiding an unprofitable breakthrough: the risk was left to Apple to pioneer - we now have the iPhone/iPad/iCloud. Do you agree?
  • led its global expansion at a time when the country was isolationist

    IBM and the Holocaust
    IBM and the Holocaust is a book by investigative journalist Edwin Black which details the business dealings of the American-based multinational corporation International Business Machines (IBM) and its German and other European subsidiaries with the government of Adolf Hitler during the 1930s and the years of World War II
    The Black Butterfly
  • HP

    IBM, Meh... HP is a far superior company. We will be changing our logo to "HP - We build the most spreadsheets"
  • WOW! The Nobel Peace Prize?

    Regarding <a href=";get-photo-roto"><b>these cute little atoms</b></a> it says:<br>"In 1986 IBM, scientists won the Nobel Peace Prize for the scanning tunneling microscope" ??<br><br>Perhaps now I understand why some comments above keep referring to "Proofreading".<br>Watson, Forget that "Jeopardy" nonsense - get a job proofreading at ZDNET!<br>BTW, were you named after TJ or TR?<br><br> - Percy - see <a href="" title="ZDNET sludge also!"><b> Our CFL HAZMAT Team! </b></a>
  • RE: Gallery: IBM: 100 years of THINKing big

    ah, FORTRAN. Great days when you could develop a program and have it doing useful things in a few lines without having to define everything up front. Also, because all keyboards then only had uppercase, the syntax was easily readable and used simple punctuation (no colons, semi-colons, curly/square brackets, etc.)
  • It's nice to see, but too many mistakes

    It's nice to review this history but the value of the information is greatly depreciated with so many mistakes.
    On picture nbr. 14 says "The IBM System/360 was introduced in 1964 and brought with it a radical idea - businesses could purchase one system with the option to upgrade if their needs required. It came with from 8KB to 8MB of internal memory,..." I'm 100% sure nobody talked about 8 mega of memory on those days.
  • OXYMORONIC - RE: Gallery: IBM: 100 years of THINKing big

    ""the Electronic Tabulating System, a mechanical tabulator based on punched cards""
    Oxymoron : "electronic" and "mechanical".
    Dunce Cap for : "electronique" (At best: "electric" relays, but no electron tubes (nor transistors !)).