Charles Branscomb's career at IBM spanned 39 years, where he developed and managed several successful IBM products, including the IBM 1401 data processing system, enterprise systems (System/360) and several mid-range systems. Charles joined IBM in the Endicott, New York lab in August 1950 to design punched card handling and unit record products. In 1957 he became Area Manager for accounting machines and directed the development of the IBM 1401. After various executive staff positions, in 1964 he became Director of Computer Assisted Instruction and in 1966, President of the Systems Development Division with eight US labs and six European labs, managing delivery and expansion of the System/360 product line. In 1971 he joined the Corporate Technical Committee investigating future technologies; in 1973 became Director of Engineering, Programming, and Technology; and in 1974 became VP Development and Manufacturing of the General Systems Division in Atlanta, responsible for Systems 32, 34, 38, Series 1, and the IBM PC. In 1983 he became VP of Telecommunication Systems in Communications Product Division in Raleigh. After his retirement in 1986, he consulted full-time to IBM for 3 additional years and then spent more than a dozen years volunteering at North Carolina State University with two adjunct appointments in its College of Engineering. Charles received a MSME from North Carolina State University in 1950.
Branscomb, Charles, Interviewee
Garner, Robert, Interviewer
Computer History Museum
Place of Publication
Mountain View, California
Branscomb, Charles; Branscomb, Chuck; North Carolina State University; U.S. Army; Machine Records Unit, IBM Installation; IBM; IBM 083 card sorter; Wilson, Larry; World-Wide Accounting Machine (WWAM); Underwood, Francis (Fran); Learson, Vin; SPACE [Stored Program Accounting and Calculating Equipment]; IBM 1401 Data Processing System (Computer); IBM 1403 (Printer); Dayger, Jonie; Spalding, Don; IBM 1402 card reader/punch; IBM Corporate Technical Committee; IBM Systems Development Division (SDD); Computer Assisted Instruction (CAI); IBM 360; Troy, Jim; Brooks, Fred; IBM Model 30; IBM Model 75; IBM Model 85; Watson, Thomas J., 1914-1993; IBM, Corporate Management Committee (CMC); IBM, Corporate Technical Committee (CTC); IBM System 32; IBM PC; Tomash, Erwin