It would be an understatement to call International Business Machines, more popularly known as IBM, a giant in the technology industry. IBM is nothing short of a global leader in manufacturing computer hardware and software, as well as infrastructure construction and consultancy. It employs over 400,000 people from more than 170 countries. It also has 12 major research facilities in the world. However, IBM came from humble beginnings.
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Back in 1890, Herman Hollerith invented a card tabulator that was successfully used in the 1890 U.S. Census. It only took Hollerith’s invention six weeks to count 62 million individuals. This would be the prototype of a machine that came 16 years later. In 1906, the said counting machine had an auto-feed for cards and a control panel. This new machine is what many technology scholars recognize as the ancestor of the modern computer.
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Five years later, Charles Flint organized a merger between The Tabulating Machine Company, the Computing Scale Company, the Bundy Manufacturing Company, and the International Time Recording Company. Thomas Watson Sr. came in in 1914 to take control of the mega-company and led it to unprecedented success.
One of the most important programs the company introduced was education for its employees. People under the consolidated companies began to learn about management and technology.
On Feb. 14, 1924, Watson changed the name of the company into International Business Machines Corporation or IBM.