The Start Up Story Of Charles Flint And IBM

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This is the amazing story of one of the biggest, oldest and most successful technology companies – IBM – International Business Machines Corporation. Its story began more than 100 years ago, It all started in the US, and since then has conquered the world. Nowadays, the head office is located in Armonk, New York, US, but the company is present in 170 countries and has around 400 000 employees. Its the corporation holding the biggest number of patents in the US and one of the most significant ones for our technological history. Building all kind of tech things, from small peripheral devices to super computers, the company took a leading sit in this sphere. Among the most popular inventions of the company are ATMs and HDD (hard disc drives) that all of us use everyday. And here is how it all happened…

The History Of IBM

Charles Ranlett Flint

Charles Ranlett Flint – the first CEO and founder of CTR (IBM)

The first name of IBM was actually The Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company (C-T-R), which opened doors on June 16, 1911, as there were three manufacturing businesses that were consolidated by the financier, Charles Ranlett Flint – (the Computing Scale Company, the International Time Recording Company, and the Tabulating Machine Company). The new holding company had around 1300 employees and produced various things – from meal slicers and coffee grinders to punched card systems. Flint hoped that joining such various businesses would provide diversification and stability in hard times. The head office was located in New York, as the operating factories were situated in cities like NY, Endicott, Ohio, Dayton and others. Charles Flint became the first CEO of the corporation.

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Time clocks were the total game changer in those years, as everyone knew exactly how much time they have spent on work and how much more they should stay. Time clocks gave him a huge opportunity to put his plan into action, as he negotiated companies that made recording time clocks to merge and make something big. International Time Recording Co. (ITR) was the first company in the world making card time recorders and this was one of the main sectors the newly formed C-T-R operated in.

C-T-R's logo

C-T-R’s logo

Herman Hollerith’s Tabulating Machine Company, which then was held in Washington, DC., was the most important business in the merger. Back then it had won the task to count the 1890 US Census. The machines developed and used for this significantly optimized the effort and times needed for counting the population. Then it was not a surprise that the company won the government contract for the biggest statistical adventure of that time – The 1900 US Census. The tabulating machines of the company had a huge success, but Herman couldn’t rely only on government orders and had to find new business opportunities for the company. He started selling his semi-automatic tabulating, sorting and punching machines to railroad companies, governments and private businesses.

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