IBM wasn’t always IBM…and they also used to make meat/cheese slicers

Today, the International Business Machines Corporation, otherwise known by its acronym IBM is iconic for their information-technology hardware and software. Before IBM was renamed in 1924, it was the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company (CTR), and the company made an assortment of products, including punch cards, industrial time recorders, commercial scales, and meat and cheese slicers. CTR was established in 1911 with the merger of the Punch Card Tabulating-Machine Co., the Computing Scale Co. of America, and the International Time Recording Company. Herman Hollerith, the founder of The Punch Card Tabulating-Machine Co., is credited as the founder of IBM and created the punch cards specifically for the U.S. Census Bureau to improve how the agency kept track of the immigration influx in the 1890’s. The company started with a single office in Armonk, New York; today, IBM has offices in over 170 countries

2. IBM loved their employees before everyone else started loving their employees

It is well known that employees at Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn get treated to perks like free food, intramural sports, and the 80/20 rule. IBM was ahead of the game, and started offering benefits back in 1914. They were one of the first companies to offer employees life insurance, special training programs for the disabled, as well as survivor benefits. They created sports teams and established a Quarter Century Club to celebrate those that had spent at least 25 years with the company. Today, IBM offers 70 slides-worth of benefits to employees). In addition to the typical insurance packages, employees nowadays receive a free Apple Watch if they choose to enroll in an HSA-eligible medical plan option. Employees also have access to discounts from a plethora of brands, entertainments, and services. IBM also offers to pay for adoption-related expenses of employees choosing to adopt minors.

3. IBMers have more fun

You know a company is THRIVING when they have so much pride, they publish their own songbook. In 1927, President Watson ordered the publication of a booklet titled Songs of the IBM. The tradition of music roots back to one of the original companies in the merger, the International Time Recording Company. The booklet was extended to 54 pages in the 1937 edition. The singing culture among IBM employees disintegrated in the 1950’s when Watson’s son took over the company, and left the sales side of the company until the 1960’s when company pride was transferred from song to t-shirts and mugs. Conclusion: pride-wise, IBM and UT have a whole lot in common.

Article by Adelyn Yau

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