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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Re-THINK: 1956

Re-THINK: 1956

1956. "IBM Manufacturing and Administrative Center, Rochester, Minn. Eero Saarinen, architect." Another perspective on the desk seen here, now with a view of the parking lot. Kodachrome by Balthazar Korab. View full size.

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THINK, the musical

From "Songs of the I.B.M." (1937 edition), the words to "Our President's Motto - 'THINK'" (sung to the tune of "Yankee Doodle"):

(verse 1)
T-H-I-N-K spells THINK-
Our President's great motto.
Saves mistakes, lost time and ink.
You'll then do what you ought to.
(verse 2)
T-H-I-N-K spells THINK-
'Tis good for brain and body,
Dark blue visions change to pink.
And you'll please everybody.
T-H-I-N-K spells THINK-
Thoughts are pure and golden;
Bigger thoughts and good ones too,
Then I.B.M. will broaden.

Deja vu

But for a brief moment just looking at this photo took my mind back in time and there I was sitting on one of those chairs similar to the ones used in our high school cafeteria. And I was gazing through the window, much like the one pictured, at the student parking lot across the street from the cafeteria. Students back in the 60's generally drove cars that were at least 10 years old and it was those cars shown in the photo that took up occupancy in that student parking lot so many years ago.

FHS '89

Change the cars and remove the ashtrays and that looks like a room in my high school in the '80s!

And not one

drab silver/grey car among those Easter egg colors!

The Desk

I don't think it's the exact same desk. The room is completely different. My guess is it's just one of many identical desks and placards that IBM probably bought for that facility.

[Same desk, unless IBM had strict accouterment placement standards. -tterrace]

Where's my Taurus?

Very disconcerting to my mind to see "antiques" out the windows and "modern" furniture inside the windows.

This furniture, and cubicles in the previous pic, are almost identical to much of the furniture at US Steel Gary Works where I toiled in an office much like this one through 1999.

When I look out the window at IBM, I can't help but expect to see 1990's autos! Very cool picture for that reason.

American Iron outside...

Yesterday I saw an all black, perfect condition 57 Chevy with continental kit and RED interior driving South on Highway 101. Could've pulled right out of this lot, given the one year time slip.

I love the lighting, it's like late in the day and most have gone home. Or is it early, and the view the first person in the department gets when they walk in?

It still blows my mind that they needed an architect to build this rectangular room devoid of any personality at all! Is there a defined style called Cookie-Cutter architecture?

Cigarettes help you think

You can see this wasn't taken while the programmers were there. You can see across the room. Back in these days all the programmers smoked like chimneys. You could spot their work area by the cloud of smoke over it.

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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