The character of a company — the stamp it puts on its products, services and the marketplace — is shaped and defined over time. It evolves. It deepens. It is expressed in an ever-changing corporate culture, in transformational strategies, and in new and compelling offerings for customers. IBM’s character has been formed over nearly 100 years of doing business in the field of information-handling. Nearly all of the company’s products were designed and developed to record, process, communicate, store and retrieve information — from its first scales, tabulators and clocks to today’s powerful computers and vast global networks.
IBM helped pioneer information technology over the years, and it stands today at the forefront of a worldwide industry that is revolutionizing the way in which enterprises, organizations and people operate and thrive.
The pace of change in that industry, of course, is accelerating, and its scope and impact are widening. In these pages, you can trace that change from the earliest antecedents of IBM, to the most recent developments. You can scan the entire IBM continuum from the 19th century to the 21st or pinpoint — year-by year or decade-by-decade — the key events that have led to the IBM of today. We hope that you enjoy this unique look back at the highly textured history of the International Business Machines Corporation.