International Business Machines Corporation (IBM)

IBM is, perhaps, the best known computer company in the world. It began as the Computing, Tabulating & Recording Company (C-T-R) founded by Herman Hollerith in the late 1800s. Their first large contract was to provide tabulating equipment for the tabulation and analysis of the 1890 US census.

The company grew quickly and, in the early 1920s the name was changed to IBM. IBM was the world leader in providing computer systems for both business and scientific applications.

When, in 1964, they revolutionized the industry by bringing out the first comprehensive family of computers (the System/360) it caused many of their competitors to either merge or go bankrupt, leaving IBM in an even more dominant position.

The advent of smaller computers, and IBM’s failure to compete effectively in this field initially, caused some financial problems but IBM remains a major force in the industry.