Chronological History of IBM


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Hollerith Machine
A U.S. government agency requirement late in the 19th century led directly the development of one of the company's principal lines of business. During the height of the Industrial Revolution, when the United States was receiving waves of new immigration, the U.S. Census Bureau recognized that its traditional counting methods would be inadequate for measuring the expanding population. As a result, the Bureau sponsored a contest to find a more efficient means of tabulating census data. The winner was Herman Hollerith, son of a German immigrant and Census Bureau statistician, whose Punch Card Tabulating Machine used an electric current to sense holes in punched cards and keep a running total of data. Capitalizing on his success, Hollerith formed the Tabulating Machine Company in 1896.

Predecessor companies

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