By Emerson W. Pugh
No corporation of the 20 th century completed better luck and engendered extra admiration, admire, envy, worry, and hatred than IBM. Building IBM tells the tale of that company—how it was once shaped, the way it grew, and the way it formed and ruled the knowledge processing undefined. Emerson Pugh provides tremendous new fabric concerning the corporation within the interval sooner than 1945 in addition to a brand new interpretation of the postwar era.
Granted unrestricted entry to IBM's archival documents and with out constraints at the method he selected to regard the knowledge they contained, Pugh dispels many commonly held myths approximately IBM and its leaders and gives new insights at the origins and improvement of the pc industry.
Pugh starts off the tale with Herman Hollerith's invention of punched-card machines used for tabulating the U.S. Census of 1890, displaying how Hollerith's innovations and the company he confirmed supplied the first foundation for IBM. He tells why Hollerith merged his corporation in 1911 with different businesses to create the Computing-Tabulating-Recording corporation, which replaced its identify in 1924 to foreign company Machines. Thomas J. Watson, who used to be employed in 1914 to control the merged businesses, exhibited extraordinary technological perception and leadership—in addition to his generally heralded salesmanship—to construct Hollerith's enterprise right into a digital monopoly of the swiftly transforming into punched-card apparatus business.
The attention-grabbing inside of tale of the move of authority from the senior Watson to his older son, Thomas J. Watson Jr., and the company's fast domination of the pc occupy the latter half the booklet. In ultimate chapters, Pugh examines stipulations and occasions of the Seventies and Nineteen Eighties and identifies the underlying factors of the critical probems IBM skilled within the Nineties
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Extra info for Building IBM: Shaping an Industry and Its Technology
Even before his suit against the government ended, Hollerith decided not to seek damages in the Court of Claims. 6 "Mter my row with North," Hollerith stoically recalled some years later, "I devoted my attention entirely to commercial work. "7 It was the lament of a man whose driving motivations were to solve engineering problems and create useful inventions. He enjoyed his business primarily because it was a means for proving the worth of his inventions. Increasingly, however, he saw his business obligations as preventing him from doing interesting work.
When Ned obtained another job so his brother-in-law would have fewer people on the payroll but did not explain the move to Hollerith, the latter became so furious that the younger man felt obliged to abandon his new job. Two years later an angry dispute erupted over Ned Talcott's lack of initiative-and his wages, which Hollerith had been un able to pay. In a fit of anger, Hollerith fired him. S. Bureau of the Census in 1902. Simon Newton Dexter North, its newly appointed director in 1903, became concerned that the government might be paying Hollerith excessively high prices.
One year later the firm of Goss and Bryce contracted to assign all patent rights for its time recording devel opments to the International Time Recording Company-an ac tivity that later brought Bryce to the attention of Watson who determined to hire him. Shortly after he joined CTR, Bryce initiated development of a self-regulating electric time system. It was a major factor in the wide adoption of the company's master-clock-controlled time sys tem. In an era of direct-current electric power systems-before 60-cycle alternating current was used to keep clocks synchro nized-this innovative system caused clocks and time recorders throughout a building to register the same time.