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The Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company Turns 100

One hundred years ago, The International Time Recording Company, Computing Scale Company, and Tabulating Machine Company merged to become the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company. Apparently, people one hundred years ago loved naming companies with a confusing collection of impressive sounding, quasi-scientific words assembled in seemingly random order. And if those company names could include hyphens, well—the more the better.

Today, that company is better known as IBM (the company changed its name to International Business Machines in 1924). It employs 450,000 people globally with revenues of nearly $100 billion annually. The media is awash these days with feature stories covering the company's history. Some truly magnificent innovations came out of the company whose motto was, simply—"Think."

In the 1930s, IBMs punch card machines kept track of the first Social Security Card recipients, keeping records of tens of millions of people. The company invented lots of other stuff along the way that simplified our lives, including:

• IBM co-developed the first computer—the Mark I, the Automated Sequence Controlled Calculator

• The first commercial hard disk drive

• The first bar code, making automated commercial check-out possible

• Improved high-speed processing to allow ATM transactions

• Magnetic strip technology for credit cards

• IBM put Microsoft's operating system on its computers

Basically, the technology, machinery, and data collection and storage capabilities created at IBM allowed for the rise of corporations themselves. Their ideas became the plumbing and heating of the corporate building structure, essential to success. The Atlantic has a great illustrated timeline that charts the company's history. (Absent from the timeline is anything related to the role of IBM and its subsidiaries in Germany in the 1930s.)

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The Origins of 36 Marvel Characters, Illustrated
Pop Chart Lab
Pop Chart Lab

No matter what their powers, every super hero has an origin story, from Spider-Man’s radioactive bite to Iron Man’s life-threatening chest shrapnel. In their latest poster, the designers at Pop Chart Lab have taken their infographic savvy to the Marvel Universe, charting the heroic origins of 36 different Marvel characters through miniature, minimalist comics.

Without using any words, they’ve managed to illustrate Bucky Barnes's plane explosion and subsequent transformation into the Winter Soldier, Jessica Jones’s car crash, the death of the Punisher’s family, and other classic stories from the major Marvel canon while paying tribute to the comic book form.

Explore the poster below, and see a zoomable version on Pop Chart Lab’s website.

A poster featuring 36 minimalist illustrations of superhero origin stories.
Pop Chart Lab

Keep your eyes open for future Marvel-Pop Chart crossovers. The Marvel Origins: A Sequential Compendium poster is “the first release of what we hope to be a marvelous partnership,” as Pop Chart Lab’s Galvin Chow puts it. Prints are available for pre-order starting at $37 and are scheduled to start shipping on March 8.

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