The Hundred Percent Club | #tbt

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In 1925, IBM president Thomas J. Watson decided to honor the salesmen of his company who exceeded their sales goals by inducting them into what he called "The Hundred Percent Club". The club's first convention was held in Atlantic City, N.J and then at New York City's famous Waldorf Astoria hotel until 1939. In 1940, the group's size exceeded the hotel's capacity and Watson decided to move the meeting to the hills above his plants in Endicott, NY. This 1948 photo shows the entrance to what became known as "tent city" where over 400 two-man tents equipped with telephones, electricity and baths were erected to house the honored salesmen.

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2 thoughts on “The Hundred Percent Club | #tbt

    • Hi Anne, thanks for your comment! Thomas Watson was actually born about an hour west of Endicott in Painted Post, NY. In 1911, he took over as chief executive of The Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company, which was located in Endicott. He changed the name to International Business Machines (IBM) and the company’s headquarters was located in Endicott until after World War II.

      Watson chose the area to hold the annual “Hundred Percent Club” meeting because it had outgrown other venues and because of the proximity to IBM’s headquarters. If you want to learn more about Watson and IBM you can watch our documentary online: http://www.pbs.org/video/2318724146/

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