Former Chairman Thomas J. Watson, Jr., said in 1957 that IBM "is a company of human beings, not machines; personalities, not products; people, not real estate." That observation was true long before 1957 -- and it has remained valid ever since.
IBM was created, sustained and enlarged by a unique assembly of talented, able and dedicated men and women who, in a relatively few decades, built one of the world's most admired organizations. Starting with a product line of scales, clocks and punched card machines, all manner of IBM people -- from plant workers and engineers to sales representatives and scientists -- planned, devised and delivered thousands of innovations that propelled the company and its customers into the rapidly-evolving and exciting worlds of electronic data processing, information technology and e-business on demand.
Ever since 1911, a global community spanning five generations of highly-skilled IBMers working in factories, laboratories, offices and cubicles in more than 100 countries have developed, produced and brought to the global marketplace an amazing array of devices, machines, programs, software and services that have transformed -- and even revolutionized -- the myriad activities of business, industry, government, education and the home.
Those very special people -- individually and collectively -- who built this company from its modest beginnings to what it is today are the essence of what sets IBM apart.
In the pages that follow, you will meet just a few of the very many men and women who contributed so much to IBM's success for so long. As notable as these people are, they, and those who will follow in subsequent editions of this exhibit, are merely representatives of so many others who helped to fashion the IBM of the 21st century. We hope you will enjoy learning about them.