America could be proud of a American company that has been key to advances in American industry and it has survived 100 years in business without any bail out money from Obama. It is IBM. It even survived the Bill Gates and Apple revolution in business machines. We should be proud of its many advances throughout the years as a tribute to American ingenuity with the help of the incredible melting pot of people from all over the world who now are Americans and put their talents together to form such a great company. And, I’m not getting any endorsement pay although that would be nice.
Remember the Selectric Typewriter that was in every productive office with its amazing round ball of letters that danced on your paper quickly, and there it was, your typed stuff. It was manufactured by IBM one of America’s legendary corporations. The letters stand for International Business Machines. The three letters IBM is a logo known all over the world. Its simple logo represents one of the largest, richest and most powerful companies in the world.
It is also one of America’s oldest companies. The company that brought us into the computer age, helped put a man on the moon and gave us among other things, the Selectric Typewriter, the universal bar code on all your scanned products, and Watson the newest judgmental computer recently featured on the Jeopardy game show. Even 100 years ago the company was about storing information efficiently.
It started with C-T-R-Co. standing for Computing-Tabulating Recording-Company way back from 50 Broad Street, N.Y. New York. Back then, they made time clocks, food processors, and most importantly the holograph tabulation system that punched holes in paper cards. Those punch cards would revolutionize and globalize American industry. By 1930, every company was using punch card systems to keep track of things. Railroads, Retail, Oil Companies, you name it.
In 1935, Franklyn D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law and IBM was ready to organize all the people that would have to be placed into the system. Yes, AMERICA IS GREAT! We do not have DICtators in office that are greedy bastards and stay in office for their entire lives and steal from their countries people; like the bastards in Libya and other middle eastern countries, and all the bastards killing their own people in Africa. WE PROVIDE FOR OUR PEOPLE ! OUR IBM HELPED MAKE IT POSSIBLE!
The man who engineered the IBM legacy was Thomas Watson Sr. He adapted the IBM name and placed the slogan word “think” everywhere as a motivation tool. There was even a “think” pad where employees could write down their inspirational thoughts. The pad even listed goals like growth, product leadership, efficiency and profitability.
During the late 1930’s , Thomas Watson Sr. was the highest paid executive in America. He was the Bill Gates of his era. Like every good invention, some will try to use it for bad reasons. One of the companies tabulating machines called the Hollerith Machine, on display at the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C., was used by the Nazi’s to sort out the prisoners.
During the 1930’s and 1940’s, Hollerith machines were the best data-processing devices available. The Nazi regime employed about a thousand people in 1933 and again in 1939 to enter national census data onto Hollerith punch cards. The machine was able to record the information and sort the cards according to criteria such as residence, religion, and marital status.
The SS used Hollerith machines during the war to monitor the huge numbers of prisoners shipped in and out concentration camps. The machines were manufactured by DEHOMAG (Deutsche Hollerith Maschinen Gesellschaft, or German Hollerith Machine Company), a subsidiary of IBM since 1922. It helped the Nazi’s identify and track Jews. Once IBM realized what its machines were being used for, it went full scale in not making the machines available to the Germans any more.
In the 1950’s, the now elderly, Thomas Watson Sr. handed the company to his son, Thomas Watson Jr. He put all the companies resources into developing the worlds fastest and best computing system. They stopped making every other product and for 2 years worked on and spent the equivalent of 34billion dollars on making the IBM system 360.
If it didn’t become the gigantic success that it was, IBM would have been ruined. This was the machine that put a man on the moon. It helped IBM dominate the computing industry for the next 30 years. Nothing lasts forever. In 1993 IBM’s 2nd quarter losses added up to $8 Billion. Why? Because it was over invested in main frame computing and overtaken by Microsoft , Apple and the personal computer field.
Did they cry and ask for billions from the then President like AIG and GM did this decade? NO! They worked it out themselves. They did not cost taxpayers billions. They did not have a soft President like Obama who just gave corporations a check with out even any Congressional Committees to oversee the distribution of funds. No, present day congressmen have lots of time to send pictures of their Weiner’s to American women.
IBM laid off tens of thousands of workers. It was the only way to save the company. The company survived and now is up to the size it was before. IBM has lived this past 100 years by constantly reinventing itself. Bernie Meyerson is Vice-President of innovation at IBM. As a young engineer, he invented a smaller, more powerful computer chip. He reveals that it “was a basic piece of science” that he did back in the early 80’s. It found itself in 2010 that is literally in every computer and small computing device.
That kind of innovation IBM hopes will keep the company around for another 100 years.