Computer Tabulating Recording Corporation celebrates 100

Friday, February 4th, 2011

IBM, nee a merger of the Computer Scale Company of America and the International Time Recording Company with the Tabulating Machine Company, started with weighing devices and propelled into the realm of computer science by Herman Hollerith’s (not a man of blue suits and white shirts, for sure) tabulating machine and the US Census Bureau (behind every successful company stands a good government project).

As Casey Stengel once said of pitcher and Durham native, Roger Craig, who completed 27 games amidst a record of 15 wins and 46 loses in two seasons with the beloved and famously inept New York Mets of the early 1960s, “ya gotta be pretty good to lose that many games.”

Maybe the same could be said of this company that can be such a large and benign target – I think of Arthur C. Clarke’s HAL 9000– add a letter to HAL, i.e. H + 1 letter = I. Although, I observe that Microsoft years ago became the outfit that everyone loved to hate.

We have to admire CTCR/IBM’s sturdy capacity to survive amidst the torrent of technology changes and sometimes immobile management. As well, we should be thankful for what IBM achieved for our country and the world. You can look it up – above.