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Friday, September 15, 2017

Friday links

IBM’s 1937 corporate songbook is something of a hoot.

Some 19th century money saving tips.

Eyewitnesses to the Great Los Angeles Air Raid.

Sex And The Censors: America’s First Obscene Books Commission (1953 – 1973).

The Definitive Sandwich Family Tree.

ICYMI, Thursday's links are here, and include creepy Soviet-era playground sculptures,  the 1917 Halifax explosion, the Night of the Flaming Ballerinas, why there’s a West Virginia, and the anniversary of the 1812 battle of Baltimore.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

IBM’s 1937 corporate songbook is something of a hoot

A bit of IBM history: "For thirty-seven years," reads the opening passage in the book, "the gatherings and conventions of our IBM workers have expressed in happy songs the fine spirit of loyal cooperation and good fellowship which has promoted the signal success of our great IBM Corporation in its truly International Service for the betterment of business and benefit to mankind."


Tune: "Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean" 

Thomas Watson, Sr.
Thomas Watson is our inspiration, 
Head and soul of our splendid IBM. 
We are pledged to him throughout all nations, 
He’s our President and most beloved man. 
His great wisdom has guided each division 
In such service to all humanity 
That we all unite to make this one decision, 
None can match him or our worldwide company. 


T. J. Watson, we all honor you, 
You’re so big and so square and so true, 
We will follow and serve with you forever, 
All the world shall know what I. B. M. can do.

Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company, the
 precursor to IBM, was founded on June 16, 1911
Tune: "Tipperary" 

We adore you, Otto Braitmayer 
Our great pioneer, 
You’re a wise and able leader. 
And you always are sincere. 
You’re our President’s right bower- 
Our Manufacturing Guiding Star,
I. B. M. will honor you forever 
Vice-President Braitmayer.

Tune: "Jingle Bells"

I. B. M., Happy men, smiling all the way. 
Oh what fun it is to sell our products night and day. 
I. B. M., Watson men, partners of T. J. 
In his service to mankind-that’s why we are so gay.

I've pasted a few pages below, but the full version of the 1937 songbook is available as a PDF here and a plain text version of the the 1935 songbook is here - I haven't compared them but assume that they're largely (if not entirely) identical. There's a .wav version of the official IBM theme song, Ever Onward, here and more music clips here.

As an aside, my mom worked as a secretary for Tom Watson Sr. at IBM during WWII while they were making munitions - once the war was over all of the women were fired to make jobs available for the returning "boys".

More at Ars Technica, Business Insider and the links above.

Thursday links

It's the anniversary of the battle of Baltimore, inspiration for the Star-Spangled Banner.

An eyewitness look at the 1917 Halifax Explosion.

September 14, 1861 was The Night of the Flaming Ballerinas.

Why There’s A West Virginia.

Getting to Know Whale Vaginas in 7 Steps.

ICYMI, Tuesday's links are here, and include H.L. Mencken's birthday, 1950 information tests to try on your children, jay-walking and the fight for the streets, and why elephant brains, which have three times as neurons as ours, don't perform better than ours.   

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Tuesday links

"Every election is a sort of advance auction sale of stolen goods." It's the birthday of H.L. Mencken, noted curmudgeon, satirist, and political and cultural critic.

"Jay Walking" and the Fight for the Streets.

The Paradox of the Elephant Brain - with three times as many neurons, why doesn’t the elephant brain outperform ours?

Having a beer might help get your creative juices flowing.

ICYMI, Thursday's links are here, and include drinking cold water and other 19th century causes of death, three simple rules for fire ants when building a tower, and the anniversary of the Battle of Borodino, on which War and Peace and the 1812 Overture are based.