IBM: Highlights of 100 Years

As IBM celebrates its 100th birthday this year, we take a look back at some of the major moments in the company's history.

ibm100_1-100344659-orig.jpg

Selectric typewriter

1961: The Selectric typewriter was an instant design sensation, delighting typists for 25 years.

IBM at 100: How Big Blue Helped Redefine Corporate Architecture

ibm100_2-100344660-orig.jpg

Thomas Watson, Jr.

CEO Thomas Watson passes the reins to his son Thomas Watson, Jr.

ibm100_3-100344661-orig.jpg

RAMAC

1956: IBM created the data storage industry with RAMAC (Random Access Method of Accounting and Control), containing the world's first magnetic hard disk drive. The size of two kitchen refrigerators side by side, the drives were about 10 megabits of capacity and 10 tons in weight; the average laptop today would weigh about 250,000 tons based on that technology.

ibm100_4-100344662-orig.jpg

Stretch computer

1960: IBM's Stretch computer (so named because it "stretched" technology) became the industry's most powerful computer and pioneer of computer multitasking.

ibm100_5-100344663-orig.jpg

System/360

1964: IBM CEO Thomas Watson, Jr., made the biggest bet of his career with the System/360 family of computers, which ushered in an era of computer compatibility. Based on semiconductor chips, it dominated the industry for 20 years. With two years and $5 billion to develop -- more than $30 billion today -- System/360 remains one of the largest privately financed commercial projects ever.

ibm100_6-100344664-orig.jpg

Apollo mission

1969: IBM technology guided the Apollo mission to the moon. The company has played a part in the U.S. space program since the 1950s.

Slideshow: It Came From Outer Space: NASA Innovations in Our Lives

ibm100_7-100344665-orig.jpg

IBM Personal Computer

1981: The IBM Personal Computer launched the PC revolution, helping computers go mainstream and beyond just hobbyists and geeks.

ibm100_8-100344666-orig.jpg

Deep Blue

1998: IBM's Deep Blue supercomputer defeated the best chess player in the world.

Wicked Cool Man vs. Machine Moments

ibm100_9-100344667-orig.jpg

Watson on 'Jeopardy'

2011: IBM's Watson computer system, powered by IBM Power7, competes against the "Jeopardy" game show's two most successful and celebrated contestants -- Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter -- in a practice match held during a press conference at IBM's Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, N.Y., on January 13. Watson competed against -- and defeated -- Jennings and Rutter in the first-ever man-vs.-machine "Jeopardy" competition in February.

What Makes IBM Watson So Smart?

Wicked Cool Man vs. Machine Moments

IBM at 100: How Big Blue Helped Redefine Corporate Architecture