On June 16, 2011, the International Business Machines, better known as IBM, turned 100 years old. IBM is the best-known American computer manufacturer, founded by Thomas J. Watson, and has stayed vital and important for most of its history. This company has created and designed many prominent inventions that are widely used today. Here is a list of five of their most important inventions, so far:
The Magnetic Stripe Technology: This is the thin, black stripe you can see on the back of credit cards, drivers’ licenses and many other cards. With this invention, buying things became much simpler and faster. What they don’t realize is what a major shift this seemingly simple technology represented for retail, transportation and daily life.
How Magnetic Stripe Technology works on YouTube:
Computing Scale: Used to weigh and price things that any vendor can use. This invention saved retailers a lot of money.
The Universal Product Code: Even though barcodes were dreamed up and patented in the late 1940s and early 1950s, it wasn’t in use until lasers emerged years later that they could be digitally read. This technology sped up checkouts and improved inventory-keeping.
The Time Clock: The invention had an “IN” and an “OUT” slot, used to keep track of each employee’s attendance.
The Automated Test Scoring: In 1937, IBM introduced the 805 Test Scoring Machine. This machine graded test answers that have been marked on a certain paper with a No. 2 pencil, making grading much easier for teachers.
When most people think of IBM, they think of computers. Well, they did invent the PC in the 1980s, but they have many more inventions that are still in use today. Their inventions have helped ease the daily life of many people, such as managers, teachers, students, store owners, and many employees. IBM has many other inventions that have made our lives easier and should be greatly appreciated. Congratulations to this successful company.