How a Five-Letter Word Built a 104-Year-Old Company | At the Smithsonian

How Think Built IBM | At the Smithsonian | Smithsonian.

For our word feature this Wednesday, we post something from the Smithsonian website yesterday (August 3, 2015). And from the heading you will see why this item caught my attention and became the content of our word feature today.

What’s the word? And which is the company? And who came up with the idea? Read on!

Last year, the daughter of an executive at J. Schoeneman Inc., one of the first garment manufacturers to buy an IBM computer, donated a seemingly modest item to the Smithsonian National Museum of American History: a 4.5-by-3-inch paper notepad with the word THINK embossed on its leather cover.

Small enough to fit into the breast pocket of a dress shirt, the notepad, according to Smithsonian curator Peter Liebhold, was a gift to the executive from his IBM salesman. This would have been in the 1960s, Liebhold says, when all IBM employees carried THINK notepads and business cards and worked beneath THINK signs.

The campaign was parodied in MAD Magazine, the subject of New Yorker and Look cartoons, and IBM was “deluged with requests from the public” for THINK paraphernalia, according to company archives. By 1960, IBM was distributing “about 250,000” THINK notepads annually to non-IBMers like the Schoeneman executive. THINK fascinated people because its pervasiveness represented something so new: a consciously created company culture.

Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/how-five-letter-word-built-104-year-old-company

IBM-think

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