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Summary Article: IBM
From The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

Multinational company, one of the world's largest technology companies (as of 2011). Its headquarters are in Armonk, New York, USA. The company is a descendant of the Tabulating Machine Company, formed in 1896 by US inventor Herman Hollerith to exploit his punched-card machines. It adopted its present name in 1924. The company has gone through many changes in organization and business strategy and by 2011 was involved in both equipment manufacture and in providing business and technology services for a wide range of business sectors.

Founded in 1924, by former cash register salesperson Tom Watson (1874–1956), IBM grew to monopolize the mechanical data processing business, and in the 1950s, thanks mainly to Tom Watson Jr (1914–1993), also quickly took over the new electronic (computer-based) data processing business.

IBM became an important patron of modern design in the post-1945 years. Tom Watson Jr hired Eliot Noyes as chief design consultant. Noyes ensured that IBM worked with the best architects – among them Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Marcel Breuer – and designed many of the company's machines, including the ‘Selectric’ electric typewriter in 1961.


Computing: The Mechanics of an Electronics Industry

© RM, 2018. All rights reserved.

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