Chronological History of IBM


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  • 1911

Computing- Tabulating- Recording Company (C-T-R) meeting
In 1911, Charles F. Flint, a noted trust organizer, engineered the merger of Hollerith's Tabulating Machine Company with two others - Computing Scale Company of America and International Time Recording Company. The combined Computing- Tabulating- Recording Company (C-T-R) manufactured and sold machinery ranging from commercial scales and industrial time recorders to meat and cheese slicers, along with tabulators and punched cards.

Based in New York City, the company had 1,300 employees and offices and plants in Endicott and Binghamton, New York; Dayton, Ohio; Detroit, Michigan; Washington, D.C.; and Toronto, Ontario.

C-T-R's employee band
When the diversified businesses of C-T-R proved difficult to manage, Flint turned for help to the former number two executive at the National Cash Register Company, Thomas J. Watson, Sr. In 1914, Watson, then age 40, joined the company as general manager.

Drawing upon his sales experience at NCR, Watson implemented a series of effective business tactics: generous sales incentives, a focus on customer service, an insistence on well-groomed, dark-suited salesmen and an evangelical fervor for instilling company pride and loyalty in every worker. Watson boosted company spirit with employee sports teams, family outings and a company band. He preached a positive outlook, and his favorite slogan, "THINK," became a mantra for C-T-R's employees. Within 11 months of joining C-T-R, Watson became its president. The company focused on providing large-scale, custom-built tabulating solutions for businesses, leaving the market for small office products to others. During Watson's first four years, revenues more than doubled to $9 million. He also expanded the company's operations to Europe, South America, Asia and Australia.

Predecessor companies

Corporate administration

Products & services