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Rw notes that

=== s/b three. The public documents of 1911 describe the merger of 4 companies. See [2]. Describing the merger as three companies is something IBM chooses to do - without any supporting documentation. Elsewhere in this article the merger is described as 4 companies.

1914 Thomas J. Watson, Sr., is hired to manage CT
=== s/b CTR

Rw is correct. This should be corrected. There were three companies – plus Hollerith’s company.

Rw appears not to have read my book, Punched-Card Systems and the Early Information Explosion (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009). My book answers a large number of his comments in detail.

The historian always has to make a choice between historical terms and terms from today. And she needs to choose to establish coherence. For example, it would be misleading for today’s readers just to cite the historical individuals’ use of ‘mechanization’ and ‘automation’, because these terms have different meanings today.

I appreciate Rw’s comments on style and emphasis. However, style and emphasis are at the discretion of the authors, i.e. Emerson Pugh and me, except for issues where convincing arguments are tabled. I did not find any such issue in Rw’s comments.

Lars Heide

Administrator719:43, 13 May 2013