BINGHAMTON, NY (WSKG) – Thursday night was an incremental step in the decontamination process of the old IBM campus that’s expected to take years. The state presented a proposed method to do the final clean up at a building that’s much less contaminated than some of the others.
The front row of folding chairs was empty. Eight people showed up to the meeting in the hall at the First United Methodist Church on McKinley Avenue, just a block away from the Huron Campus. It’s a tragic story: IBM employed the town, cut their jobs, then left Endicott contaminated. These folks have been through a lot – they have friends and relatives with cancer. One guy is working on a film about the contamination.
Manufacturing will return to the vacant IBM site in Endicott. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday that lithium ion batteries will be made on the Huron Campus. Joining in the consortium of three companies locating in Endicott is C4V. When New York held its first ever 76West Clean Energy Competition, C4V’s new battery storage technology earned a $500,000 prize. Within five years, Dr. Shalilesh Upreti, president of C4V, said they will hire and train 232 employees. “Because there is no manufacturing as high scale like this today in the US, we have been bringing folks from overseas—especially from Japan and Korea—for the training purpose,” Upreti said.
Thomas J. Watson was born in Painted Post, New York in 1874, the only son of a hard working, but largely unsuccessful, farmer and lumberman. By the time Watson was 20 years old he had already held jobs as a teacher, bookkeeper, butcher, and peddler of pianos. Finally, in 1896 he took a job as a cash register salesman with the National Cash Register Company in Dayton Ohio. When he took the reigns of a fledgling time recording company in 1911, Watson was well prepared to make his mark on the corporate world. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_cMBXyKoRQ
‘Uniquely New York’ is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.
Path Through History
WSKG’s Path Through History
Broome County Historical Society
Photos Courtesy of:
Broome County Historical Society
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.
To say that the Union-Endicott area is rich in history would be an understatement. The earliest inhabitants made stone tools on the banks of Nanticoke Creek, 19th century immigrant workers filled local factories and supplied our nation with shoes, more recently, engineers developed pioneering technology and machines that changed the world. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_OyZqH063g
The Union Historical Society was organized in 1989 to collect, preserve and display artifacts, relics, photographs and other items of local history. Today, these items are displayed at the Union Historical Society Museum on Endicott’s historic Washington Avenue. Divided into two main sections, the entire ground floor of the museum is devoted to the history of IBM, a world leader in the early development of computer technology that got its start just up the Avenue from the museum.
In the fall of 1914, Thomas John Watson was a broken man. Fired from a job he loved and convicted of a crime he claimed to be innocent of, his future looked bleak. But Watson would turn it all around by rebuilding his life and creating one of the world’s most influential and successful companies, IBM. Watson, a new documentary film from WSKG’s Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Brian Frey, tells the fascinating story of Watson’s rise from an impoverished childhood to a player on the world’s stage. Watson focuses on the history of IBM’s birth in Endicott, New York, and on how the company grew and evolved along with the lives and dreams of the children of the immigrants who came to the region a half century earlier.