Thomas John Watson, Sr.
(February 17, 1874 June 19, 1956) was president of International Business Machines (IBM), who oversaw that company's growth into an international force from 1914 to 1956. Watson developed IBM's distinctive management style and corporate culture, and turned the company into a highly-effective selling organization, based largely around punched card
A punched card, punch card, IBM card, or Hollerith card is a piece of stiff paper that contains digital information represented by the presence or absence of holes in predefined positions...
The tabulating machine was an electrical device designed to assist in summarizing information and, later, accounting. Invented by Herman Hollerith, the machine was developed to help process data for the 1890 U.S. Census...
s. A leading self-made industrialist, he was one of the richest men of his time and was called the world's greatest salesman when he died in 1956.
Early life and career
Thomas J. Watson was the only son of Thomas and Jane Fulton White Watson. His four older siblings, (Jennie, Effie, Loua and Emma), were girls. His father farmed and owned a modest lumber
Lumber or timber is wood in any of its stages from felling through readiness for use as structural material for construction, or wood pulp for paper production....
business located near Painted Post
Painted Post is a village in Steuben County, New York, United States. The village is in the town of Erwin, west of the city of Corning. The population was 1,842 at the 2000 census. The name comes from a painted and carved post found by explorers at the junction of three local rivers...
, a few miles west of Elmira, NY, in south central New York State. Thomas worked on the family farm in East Campbell, New York
Campbell is a town in Steuben County, New York, United States. The population was 3,691 at the 2000 census. The name is from Robert Campbell, an early landowner.The Town of Campbell is centrally located in the county and is northwest of Corning....
and attended the District School Number Five
District School Number Five, also known as "The Little Red Schoolhouse," is a historic one room school building located at Campbell in Steuben County, New York. It was built during the spring and summer of 1839 with a hand hewn timber frame of mortise and tenon construction...
in the late 1870s
The 1870s continued the trends of the previous decade, as new empires, imperialism and militarism rose in Europe and Asia. America was recovering from the Civil War. Germany declared independence in 1871 and began its Second Reich. Labor unions and strikes occurred worldwide in the later part of...
. As Watson entered his teen years he attended Addison Academy In Addison, NY
Addison is a village in Steuben County, New York, United States. The population was 1,797 at the 2000 census. The village and the surrounding town are named after the author Joseph Addison....
Having given up his first job — teaching — after just one day, Watson took a year's course in accounting and business at the Miller School of Commerce in Elmira. He left the school in 1891, taking a job at $6 a week as bookkeeper
Bookkeeping is the recording of financial transactions. Transactions include sales, purchases, income, receipts and payments by an individual or organization. Bookkeeping is usually performed by a bookkeeper. Bookkeeping should not be confused with accounting. The accounting process is usually...
for Clarence Risley's Market in Painted Post. One year later he joined a traveling salesman, George Cornwell, peddling organs and pianos around the farms, for the local hardware store (William Bronsons), Watson's first salesman job. When Cornwell left, he continued alone, earning the sum of $10 per week. It was only after two years of this life that he realized he would be earning $70 per week if he were on a commission. The impact of his indignation on making this discovery was such that he quit and moved from his familiar surroundings to the relative metropolis of Buffalo
Buffalo is the second most populous city in the state of New York, after New York City. Located in Western New York on the eastern shores of Lake Erie and at the head of the Niagara River across from Fort Erie, Ontario, Buffalo is the seat of Erie County and the principal city of the...
Watson then spent a very brief period selling sewing machines for Wheeler and Wilcox. According to Tom Watson Jr., in his autobiography:
"One day my dad went into a roadside saloon to celebrate a sale and had too much to drink. When the bar closed, he found that his entire rig — horse, buggy, and samples — had been stolen. Wheeler and Wilcox fired him and dunned
A debt is an obligation owed by one party to a second party, the creditor; usually this refers to assets granted by the creditor to the debtor, but the term can also be used metaphorically to cover moral obligations and other interactions not based on economic value.A debt is created when a...
him for the lost property. Word got around, of course, and it took Dad more than a year to find another steady job."
Watson would later enforce strict rules at IBM against alcohol consumption, even off the job. According to Tom Jr.:
"This anecdote never made it into IBM lore, which is too bad, because it would have helped explain Father to the tens of thousands of people who had to follow his rules."
Watson's next job was peddling shares of the Buffalo Building and Loan Company for a huckster named C.B. Barron., a showman renowned for his disreputable conduct; which Watson, as a lifelong Methodist
Methodism is a movement of Protestant Christianity represented by a number of denominations and organizations, claiming a total of approximately seventy million adherents worldwide. The movement traces its roots to John Wesley's evangelistic revival movement within Anglicanism. His younger brother...
, deplored. Barron absconded with the commission and the loan funds. Next Watson opened a butcher shop in Buffalo, which soon failed, leaving Watson with no money, no investment, and no job.
Watson had a newly-acquired NCR
NCR Corporation is an American technology company specializing in kiosk products for the retail, financial, travel, healthcare, food service, entertainment, gaming and public sector industries. Its main products are self-service kiosks, point-of-sale terminals, automated teller machines, check...
cash register in his butcher shop, for which he had to arrange transfer of the installment payments to the new owner of the butcher shop. On visiting NCR, he met John J. Range and asked him for a job. Determined to join the company, he repeatedly called on Range until, after a number of abortive attempts, he finally was hired in November, 1896, as sales apprentice to Range.
Led by John Patterson
John Henry Patterson was an industrialist and founder of the National Cash Register Company. He was a businessperson and salesperson.-Early years:Patterson was born in 1844 on the family farm near Dayton, Ohio...
, NCR was then one of the leading selling organizations, and John J. Range, its Buffalo branch manager, became almost a father figure for Watson and was a model for his sales and management style. Certainly in later years, in a 1952 interview, he claimed he learned more from Range than anyone else. But at first, he was a poor salesman, until Range took him personally in hand. Then he became the most successful salesman in the East, earning US$100 per week.
Four years later, NCR assigned Watson to run the struggling NCR agency in Rochester, NY. As an agent, he got 35% commission and reported directly to Hugh Chalmers, the #2 at NCR. In four years Watson made Rochester effectively an NCR monopoly by using the technique of knocking the main competitor (Hallwood) out of business, sometimes resorting to sabotage of the competitors machines. As a reward he was called to the NCR head office in Dayton, Ohio
Dayton is the 6th largest city in the U.S. state of Ohio and the county seat of Montgomery County, the fifth most populous county in the state. The population was 141,527 at the 2010 census. The Dayton Metropolitan Statistical Area had a population of 841,502 in the 2010 census...
Watson's role in the scheme of things then was to knock out the competition in the used cash register market. It was made less legal by the chosen means. Using funds allegedly supplied by NCR, he set up what was ostensibly a completely independent organization, Watson's Cash Register and Second Hand Exchange, in Manhattan. Undercutting the competition, for he had no need to make a profit (having effectively limitless funds from NCR), he gradually monopolized the business; until he was able to buy out the competitors, which he promptly did. He then moved to Philadelphia and after that progressed across the country, repeating the operation and covertly establishing another near monopoly for NCR, in the second-hand business, to match that already established in the new machine market. In 1908, when the second-hand business was merged into the regular sales offices, Watson became assistant sales manager; moving up to become sales manager in 1910 with a further role — working along with NCR's engineers — in new product development.
In terms of the questionable second-hand business, Watson later claimed that he didn't appreciate the implications of what he was doing, and indeed it is quite possible that he was so immersed in the work that he failed to understand the full depth of Patterson's machinations. Nevertheless, it was a clear, indeed blatant, breach of the anti‑trust legislation; though until that time such legislation had, in the spirit of the age, been more honored in the breach rather than by adherence. Perhaps he was unlucky, but along with 30 other NCR managers (including Patterson) on February 22, 1912, he was indicted in an anti‑trust suit instigated by managers previously.
In the six months before his trial, he met his wife to be, Jeanette Kittredge. He married her just two weeks after the trial finished on February 13, 1913; he having been found guilty and sentenced to a $5,000 fine plus a year in Miami County jail. The jail sentence was unexpected as previously only fines had been imposed, and Watson appealed. In the meantime, charges against Patterson were eventually dismissed because of his philanthropic efforts during the Great Dayton Flood
The Great Dayton Flood of 1913 flooded Dayton, Ohio, and the surrounding area with water from the Great Miami River, causing the greatest natural disaster in Ohio history...
of 1913. Similarly, Watson's appeal was successful, and the verdict was set aside pending a new trial. The government, however, chose not to go through the expense of another trial, and Watson was subsequently cleared of all wrongdoing in the matter.
Head of IBM
Watson joined the Computing Tabulating Recording Corporation (CTR) on May 1, 1914. When Watson took over as general manager, the company produced $9 million in revenue and had more than 1300 employees. In 1924, he renamed the company International Business Machines. Watson built IBM into such a dominant company that the federal government filed a civil antitrust suit against them in 1952. IBM owned and leased to its customers more than 90 percent of all tabulating machines in the United States at the time. When Watson died in 1956, IBM's revenues were $897 million, and the company had 72,500 employees.
Throughout his life, Watson maintained a deep interest in international relations, both from a diplomatic and a business perspective. He was known as President Roosevelt's
Franklin Delano Roosevelt , also known by his initials, FDR, was the 32nd President of the United States and a central figure in world events during the mid-20th century, leading the United States during a time of worldwide economic crisis and world war...
un-official Ambassador in NY and often entertained foreign statesmen. In 1937, he was elected president of the International Chamber of Commerce
The International Chamber of Commerce is the largest, most representative business organization in the world. Its hundreds of thousands of member companies in over 130 countries have interests spanning every sector of private enterprise....
(ICC) and at that year's biennial congress in Berlin stated the conference keynote to be World Peace Through World Trade
. That phrase became the slogan of both the ICC and IBM.
Watson's merger of diplomacy and business was not always lauded. During the 1930s, IBM's German subsidiary was IBM's most profitable foreign operation, and a recent book
IBM and the Holocaust is a book by investigative journalist Edwin Black which details the business dealings of the American-based multinational corporation International Business Machines and its German and other European subsidiaries with the government of Adolf Hitler during the 1930s and the...
argues that Watson's pursuit of profit led him to personally approve and spearhead IBM's strategic technological relationship with the Third Reich. In particular, critics point to the coveted "Eagle with Star
The Order of the German Eagle was an award of the German Nazi regime, predominantly to foreign diplomats. The Order was instituted on 1 May 1937 by Adolf Hitler.It ceased to be awarded following the collapse of the Nazi Government at the end of World War II....
" medal that Watson received at the Berlin ICCC meeting in 1937, as evidence that he was being honored for the help that IBM's German subsidiary Dehomag
Dehomag was a German subsidiary of IBM with monopoly in the German market before and during World War II. The word was an acronym for Deutsche Hollerith-Maschinen Gesellschaft mbH . Hollerith refers to the German-American inventor of the technology of punched cards, Herman Hollerith.Under Nazi...
(Deutsche Hollerith-Maschinen Gesellschaft mbH) and its punch card machines provided the Nazi regime, particularly in the tabulation of census data. The most recent study of the matter, however, argues that Watson believed, perhaps naively, that the medal was in recognition of his years of labor on behalf of global commerce and international peace. Watson soon began second-guessing himself for accepting the medal, and eventually returned the medal to the German government in June 1940. German Chancellor Adolf Hitler was furious at the slight, and he declared that Watson would never step on German-controlled soil again. As anticipated, Dehomag went into revolt, its management decrying Watson's stupidity and openly wondering whether or not it would be best if the firm separated from its American owner. The debate ended when Germany declared war on the United States in December, 1941, and the German shareholders took custody of the Dehomag operation. But during WW II, IBM subsidiaries in occupied Europe never stopped delivery of punch cards to Dehomag, and documents uncovered show that senior executives at IBM world headquarters in New York took great pains to maintain legal authority over Dehomag's operations and assets through the personal intervention of IBM managers in neutral Switzerland, directed via personal communications and private letters. Whether this was with or without Watson's direct involvement is unclear .
During this same period, IBM became more deeply involved in the war effort for the U.S., focusing on producing large quantities of data processing equipment for the military and experimenting with analog computer
An analog computer is a form of computer that uses the continuously-changeable aspects of physical phenomena such as electrical, mechanical, or hydraulic quantities to model the problem being solved...
s. Watson, Sr. also developed the 1% doctrine
for war profits which mandated that IBM receive no more than 1% profit from the sales of military equipment to U.S. Government. Watson was one of the few CEOs to develop such a policy.
Watson also had a personal interest in the progress of the war. His eldest son, Thomas J. Watson, Jr., joined the United States Army Air Corps where he became a bomber pilot. But he was soon hand-picked to become the assistant and personal pilot for General Follet Bradley, who was in charge of all Lend-Lease
Lend-Lease was the program under which the United States of America supplied the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, China, Free France, and other Allied nations with materiel between 1941 and 1945. It was signed into law on March 11, 1941, a year and a half after the outbreak of war in Europe in...
equipment supplied to the Soviet Union from the United States. Watson, Sr.'s youngest son, Arthur K. Watson, also joined the military during the conflict.
Watson worked with local leaders to create a college in the Binghamton area, where IBM was founded and had major plants. In 1946, IBM provided land and funding for Triple Cities College
, an extension of Syracuse University
Syracuse University is a private research university located in Syracuse, New York, United States. Its roots can be traced back to Genesee Wesleyan Seminary, founded by the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1832, which also later founded Genesee College...
. Later it became known as Harpur College, and eventually evolved into Binghamton University
Binghamton University, also formally called State University of New York at Binghamton, , is a public research university in the State of New York. The University is one of the four university centers in the State University of New York system...
. Its School of Engineering and Applied Sciences is named the Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
, although the IBM plant in the neighboring city of Endicott
Endicott is a village in Broome County, New York, United States. The population was 13,038 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Binghamton Metropolitan Statistical Area. The village is named after Henry B...
has since downsized drastically.
After World War II, Watson began work to further the extent of IBM's influence abroad and in 1949, the year he stepped down, created the IBM World Trade Corporation in order to control IBM's foreign business.
Watson was named chairman emeritus of IBM in 1956. A month before his death, Watson handed over the reins of the company to his oldest son, Thomas J. Watson, Jr.
Thomas John Watson, Jr. was an American businessman, political figure, and philanthropist. He was the 2nd president of IBM , the 11th national president of the Boy Scouts of America , and the 16th United States Ambassador to the Soviet Union...
Thomas Watson Sr. was interred in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery
Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Sleepy Hollow, New York is the resting place of numerous famous figures, including Washington Irving, whose story "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" is set in the adjacent Old Dutch Burying Ground. Incorporated in 1849 as Tarrytown Cemetery, it posthumously honored Irving's...
in Sleepy Hollow, New York
Sleepy Hollow is a village in the town of Mount Pleasant in Westchester County, New York, United States. It is located on the eastern bank of the Hudson River, about north of midtown Manhattan in New York City, and is served by the Philipse Manor stop on the Metro-North Hudson Line.Originally...
Watson married Jeanette Kittredge, from a prominent Dayton, Ohio
Dayton is the 6th largest city in the U.S. state of Ohio and the county seat of Montgomery County, the fifth most populous county in the state. The population was 141,527 at the 2010 census. The Dayton Metropolitan Statistical Area had a population of 841,502 in the 2010 census...
railroad family, on April 17, 1913. They had two sons and two daughters.
- Thomas Watson, Jr., succeeded his father as IBM chairman and later served as Ambassador to the Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....
under Jimmy Carter
James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr. is an American politician who served as the 39th President of the United States and was the recipient of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize, the only U.S. President to have received the Prize after leaving office...
- Jeanette Watson Irwin married businessman John N. Irwin II, later Ambassador to France
- Helen Watson Buckner became an important philanthropist in New York City.
- Arthur K. Watson
Arthur Kittredge Watson served as president of IBM World Trade Corporation and United States Ambassador to France.-Family:He was born in Summit, New Jersey. His father, Thomas J...
served as president of IBM World Trade Corporation and later as Ambassador to France.
As a Democrat (after his criminal indictment by the Taft Administration), Watson was an ardent supporter of Roosevelt. He was one of the most prominent businessmen in the Democratic Party. He was considered Roosevelt's strongest supporter in the business community.
In 1936 the US Supreme Court upheld a lower court decision that IBM, together with Remington, should cease its practice of requiring its customers to buy their punch cards from it alone. The ruling made little difference because IBM was the only effective supplier to the market; and profits continued undiminished.
Watson served as a powerful trustee of Columbia University
Columbia University in the City of New York is a private, Ivy League university in Manhattan, New York City. Columbia is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York, the fifth oldest in the United States, and one of the country's nine Colonial Colleges founded before the...
from June 6, 1933 until his death. He engineered the selection of Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower was the 34th President of the United States, from 1953 until 1961. He was a five-star general in the United States Army...
as its president and played the central role in convincing Eisenhower to become president of the school.
In the 1940s, Watson was on the national executive board of the Boy Scouts of America
The Boy Scouts of America is one of the largest youth organizations in the United States, with over 4.5 million youth members in its age-related divisions...
and served for a time as International Scout Commissioner. E. Urner Goodman
Edward Urner Goodman was an influential leader in the Boy Scouts of America movement for much of the twentieth century. Goodman was the national program director from 1931 until 1951, during the organization's formative years of significant growth when the Cub Scouting and Exploring programs were...
recounts that the elderly Watson attended an International Scout Commissioners' meeting in Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....
, where the IBM founder asked not to be put on a pedestal. Before the conference was over, Goodman relates, Watson "… sat by that campfire, in Scout uniform, 'chewing the fat' like the rest of the boys". He received the Silver Buffalo Award
The Silver Buffalo Award is the national-level distinguished service award of the Boy Scouts of America. It is presented for noteworthy and extraordinary service to youth on a national basis, either as part of, or independent of the Scouting program...
in 1944. Thomas Watson Jr. later served as National president of the Boy Scouts of America from 1964–1968.
Thomas Watson Sr. was chairman of the Elmira College
Elmira College is a coeducational private liberal arts college located in Elmira, in New York State's Southern Tier region.The college is noted as the oldest college still in existence which granted degrees to women that were the equivalent of those given to men...
Centennial Committee in 1955 and gave Watson Hall, primarily a music and mathematics academic building.
Mr. Watson Sr. was inducted into the Junior Achievement U.S. Business Hall of Fame in 1990.
Although Watson is well known for his alleged 1943 statement: "I think there is a world market for maybe five computers," there is scant evidence he made it. Author Kevin Maney tried to find the origin of the quote, but has been unable to locate any speeches or documents of Watson's that contain this, nor are the words present in any contemporary articles about IBM. The earliest known citation on the Internet is from 1986 on Usenet
Usenet is a worldwide distributed Internet discussion system. It developed from the general purpose UUCP architecture of the same name.Duke University graduate students Tom Truscott and Jim Ellis conceived the idea in 1979 and it was established in 1980...
in the signature of a poster from Convex Computer Corporation as "I think there is a world market for about five computers" — Remark attributed to Thomas J. Watson (Chairman of the Board of International Business Machines), 1943
. Another early article source (May 15, 1985) is a column by Neil Morgan, a San Diego Evening Tribune writer who wrote: Forrest Shumway, chairman of The Signal Cos., doesn't make predictions. His role model is Tom Watson, then IBM chairman, who said in 1958: "I think there is a world market for about five computers."
One of the very first quotes can be found in a book "The Experts Speak" written by Christopher Cerf and Victor S. Navasky in 1984. However Cerf and Navasky just quote from a book written by Morgan and Langford, "Facts and Fallacies". All these early quotes are questioned by Eric Weiss, an Editor of the Annals of the History of Computing in ACS letters in 1985.
In 1985 the story was discussed on Usenet (in net.misc), without Watson's name being attached. The original discussion has not survived, but an explanation has; it attributes a very similar quote to the Cambridge
The University of Cambridge is a public research university located in Cambridge, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest university in both the United Kingdom and the English-speaking world , and the seventh-oldest globally...
mathematician Professor Douglas Hartree
Douglas Rayner Hartree PhD, FRS was an English mathematician and physicist most famous for the development of numerical analysis and its application to the Hartree-Fock equations of atomic physics and the construction of the meccano differential analyser.-Early life:Douglas Hartree was born in...
, around 1951:
- I went to see Professor Douglas Hartree, who had built the first differential analyzers in England and had more experience in using these very specialized computers than anyone else. He told me that, in his opinion, all the calculations that would ever be needed in this country could be done on the three digital computers which were then being built — one in Cambridge, one in Teddington
The National Physical Laboratory is the national measurement standards laboratory for the United Kingdom, based at Bushy Park in Teddington, London, England. It is the largest applied physics organisation in the UK.-Description:...
, and one in Manchester. No one else, he said, would ever need machines of their own, or would be able to afford to buy them.
Howard H. Aiken made a similar statement in 1952:
- Originally one thought that if there were a half dozen large computers in this country, hidden away in research laboratories, this would take care of all requirements we had throughout the country.
The misquote is itself often misquoted, with fifty computers instead of five.
The story had already been described as a myth in 1973; the
Economist quoted a Mr Maney as "revealing that Watson never made his oft-quoted prediction that there was 'a world market for maybe five computers'".
Since the quote is typically used to demonstrate the fallacy of predictions, if Watson did make such a prediction in 1943, then, as Gordon Bell pointed out in his ACM 50 years celebration keynote, it would have held true for some ten years.
The IBM Archives Frequently Asked Questions asks if he said in the 1950s that he foresaw a market potential for only five electronic computers. The document says no, but quotes his son and then IBM President Thomas J. Watson, Jr., at the annual IBM stockholders meeting, April 28, 1953, as speaking about the IBM 701
The IBM 701, known as the Defense Calculator while in development, was announced to the public on April 29, 1952, and was IBM’s first commercial scientific computer...
Electronic Data Processing Machine, which it identifies as "the company's first production computer designed for scientific calculations". He said that
"IBM had developed a paper plan for such a machine and took this paper plan across the country to some 20 concerns that we thought could use such a machine. I would like to tell you that the machine rents for between $12,000 and $18,000 a month, so it was not the type of thing that could be sold from place to place. But, as a result of our trip, on which we expected to get orders for five machines, we came home with orders for 18." Watson, Jr., later gave a slightly different version of the story in his autobiography, where he said the initial market sampling indicated 11 firm takers and 10 more prospective orders.
"THINK". Watson began using "THINK" to motivate, or inspire, staff while at NCR and continued to use it at CTR. IBM's first U.S. trademark was for the name "THINK" filed as a U.S. trademark on June 6, 1935 with the description "periodical publications". This trademark was filed fourteen years before the company filed for a U.S. trademark on the name IBM. A biographical article in 1940 noted that "This word is on the most conspicuous wall of every room in every IBM building. Each employee carries a THINK notebook in which to record inspirations. The company stationery, matches, scratch pads all bear the inscription, THINK. A monthly magazine called 'Think' is distributed to the employees." THINK remains a part of IBM's corporate culture to this day; it was the inspiration behind naming IBM's very successful line of notebook computers, IBM ThinkPad
ThinkPad is line of laptop computers originally sold by IBM but now produced by Lenovo. They are known for their boxy black design, which was modeled after a traditional Japanese lunchbox...
. In 2008, IBM Mid America Employees Federal Credit Union changed its name to Think Mutual Bank.
- Jeannette K. Watson Fellowship
The Jeannette K. Watson Fellowship is a competitive academic grant made each year to fifteen undergraduates nominated by 10 affiliated New York City colleges which provides successive summer internships for three years, stipends, mentoring, and seminars. The fellowship is a program of the Thomas J....
- Thomas J. Watson Fellowship
The Thomas J. Watson Fellowship is a grant that enables graduating seniors to pursue a year of independent study outside the United States. The Fellowship Program was established by the children of Thomas J. Watson, the founder of IBM....
- Thomas J. Watson Research Center
The Thomas J. Watson Research Center is the headquarters for the IBM Research Division.The center is on three sites, with the main laboratory in Yorktown Heights, New York, 38 miles north of New York City, a building in Hawthorne, New York, and offices in Cambridge, Massachusetts.- Overview :The...
- Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science
- Belden, Thomas Graham; Belden, Marva Robins (1962). The Lengthening Shadow - The Life of Thomas J. Watson. Little, Brown and Co, 332pp
- Maney, Kevin (2003). The Maverick and His Machine: Thomas Watson, Sr. and the Making of IBM. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 0-471-41463-8 .
- Rodgers, William H. (1969) THINK: A Biography of the Watsons and IBM.
- Sobel, Robert
Robert Sobel was an American professor of history at Hofstra University, and a well-known and prolific writer of business histories.- Biography :...
(2000). Thomas Watson, Sr.: IBM and the Computer Revolution
- Tedlow, Richard S.
Richard S. Tedlow is the MBA Class of 1949 Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, where he is a specialist in the history of business. He is the author of "Andy Grove: The life and times of an American," one of the top ten business books in 2006.-References:...
(2003). The Watson Dynasty: The Fiery Reign and Troubled Legacy of IBM's Founding Father and Son.
- Watson, Thomas J., Jr. (1990). Father, Son & Co.: My Life at IBM and Beyond Bantam Books.
- Wilson, John S. (1959). Scouting Round the World, Blandford Press p. 186 272
- Greulich, Peter E. (2011). The World's Greatest Salesman, An IBM Caretaker's Perspective: Looking Back, MBI Concepts Corporation. ISBN-13: 978-0-9833734-0-7 (paperback); ISBN-13: 978-0-9833734-2-1 (EPUB); ISBN-13: 978-0-9833734-1-4 (Kindle)
- Oral history interview with Thomas J. Watson, Jr., 25 April 1985, Armonk, New York, Charles Babbage Institute
The Charles Babbage Institute is a research center at the University of Minnesota specializing in the history of information technology, particularly the history since 1935 of digital computing, programming/software, and computer networking....
, University of Minnesota.
- Obituary, NY Times, June 20, 1956 Thomas J. Watson Sr. Is Dead; I.B.M. Board Chairman Was 82
- The IBM Songbook
- First Usenet Posting of the misquote
- IBM biography of Watson
- IBM Argentine
- Ancestry.com site