Vintage views

A portfolio of IBM's past

A photograph freezes for our eyes a single second from a distant time or place. Although it captures on film but one moment and preserves just one instant from the past, a photograph allows us -- years, decades or even centuries later -- to discover, examine and understand an event, whether mundane or glorious, from our personal or collective history. And it is the aggregate of such images that helps to tell and document the story of a person's life, a society's evolution, a company's journey.

The IBM Corporate Archives has in its collection more than 300,000 photographs, slides, negatives and transparencies covering the arc of IBM's path from its modest beginning as a manufacturer of punched card machines, grocery scales, cheese slicers and time clocks to its emergence as the world's largest information technology company.

We offer you here just a small sampling of some of those images. They illustrate some of the uncountable and incomparable people, places and things that constitute IBM's very rich historical mosaic. From black and white photos of young men and women in factories and branch offices in the early 20th century to colorful magnified views of microelectronics from just a few years ago, the images recall an IBM that was even then very much in motion and transformation. The images are sign posts or milestones, they provide clues and insights, and they speak to us now of a past that was to become our present.

As we add to this online portfolio in the coming months, we hope you will revisit these pages from time to time to view some more of our collection. In addition, you can see other images from IBM's past by visiting our main exhibit, "History of IBM," on the home page, as well as other exhibits, such as "The Way We Wore," elsewhere on this site. Right now, though, we invite you to sample our initial selection of Vintage Views by clicking on any of these categories: