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5 Key Players - Deep Roots


IBM CEOs: Leadership ⇔ Challenges ⇔ Transformations in the IT Century
(researched and compiled by Peter de Toma Sr.)

5 Key Players - Deep Roots: Computing Tabulating Recording Corporation (CTR) 1911 => IBM 1924
(Highlights – Milestones - Excerpts)

  • John H. Patterson (1844-1922):   Founder of NCR - The Cash
                                                         Pioneer in industrial welfare well known for his compassion
                                                         for his employees and more.
  • Charles R. Flint (1850-1934):      Father of Trusts - Founder of CTR 1911
                                                         „The advantages to be realized by allied consolidations have been fully
                                                         demonstrated by the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company,
                                                         under the leadership of its president, Thomas Watson.”
  • George W. Fairchild (1854-1924):Self-Made Man - Businessman – Politician -
                                                         Founder and first Chairman, CEO of CTR, one of the pioneers of the time
                                                         recording industry. He joined the Bundy Manufacturing Company, a     
                                                         time clock manufacturer, as both an investor and director in 1896.
  • Herman Hollerith (1860-1929):      Forgotten Giant of Information Processing - Inventor - Entrepreneur -
                                                          Founder of the Tabulating Machine Machine Company (TMC)                                                          Often credited with the invention of the „punched card“
                                                          => Hollerith Card => IBM Card. He never claimed it for himself.
                                                          His basic patents encompassed the
                                                          use of the punched cards in combination with his machines.
  • Thomas J.Watson,Sr.(1874-1956):Top Salesman - Sales Manager at NCR – GM & President of  
                                                          CTR as of 1914 
                                                          Patterson, who was many things but never cheap, gave
                                                          Watson a 50.000$ cash severance, equal to over 900.000$ in
                                                          the year 2000.
                                                          Thomas Watson was a self-confident man.
                                                          He had won one of the toughest battles of life. He had sold
                                                          himself to himself. Flint became his apostle.

They represent the deep roots transformed by Charles R. Flint into CTR, incorporated on June 16, 1911, which was transformed by Thomas J. Watson Sr., into the company renamed and listed at the New York Stock Exchange as International Business Machines – IBM – in February 1924.

Information documentation, processing, storage and retrieval:

  • FILING SYSTEMS:                         facilitated storage and retrieval of information
  • ADDING MACHINES:                      processing information (starting 1820s *)
  • TYPEWRITER:                               aided the documentation of information (starting 1868)
  • CASH REGISTER:                          first patented 1879 - first American machine which can claim
                                                         that on it the sun has never set.
  • TABULATING MACHINE:                 processing the U.S. National Census 1890

*) First commercially produced adding machine: “Arithmometer” developed by Thomas de Colmar of Alsace (1820).     

IBM’s potential years of Birth:

  • 1889:                                             Hermann Hollerith winning the contract for the U.S. Census 1890
  • 1896:                                             Incorporation of Hollerith’s TMC
  • 1911:                                             Charles R. Flint: incorporation of CTR
  • 1914:                                             Thomas Watson Sr. becoming General Manager of CTR
  • 1924:                                             Thomas Watson Sr. is changing CTR into IBM
  • 1993:                                             Arrival of Louis V. Gerstner, Jr.:
                                                         re-birth” and return of IBM to a leadership position
                                                         performed by Louis V. Gerstner Jr. with his visionary and strategic decision
                                                         to keep the IBM Corporation together!      


Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company „C-T-R“:

IBM's roots actually predate 1911, but on June 16, 1911, the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company (C-T-R) was incorporated with the merger of

  • Computing Scale Company, Dayton Ohio (founded 1901)
  • Tabulating Machine Company (chartered 1896),
  • International Time Recording Company, Binghampton, New York (founded 1907),
  • Bundy Manufacturing Company (founded 1889).

In 1911 C-T-R had 1,300 employees.