• 1886 November 18
    (b.) -
    1968 June 03


An American industrialist who revolutionized the business record industry, he founded American Kardex, an office equipment and office supplies firm which later merged with his father's company, the Rand Ledger Corporation. He later bought out and merged with several other companies, notably the Remington Typewriter Company, to form Remington Rand. In 1955, he merged his corporation with the Sperry Corporation to form Sperry-Rand, one of the earliest and largest computer manufacturing companies in the United States. He was born in North Tonawanda, New York and was a descendent of John Rand, one of the founders of Charlestown, Massachusetts. He graduated from high school and received a bachelor's degree in 1908 from Harvard University. He joined his father's company, and quickly rose through the ranks of management. His father was James Rand, Sr. founder of Rand Ledger Company which manufactured the index system. At his father's wish, he assumed control of the Rand Ledger Company from 1910 to 1914, but he soon clashed with his father over his proposal to undertake a million dollar advertising campaign to boost company sales so he left Rand Ledger in 1915. He borrowed money from his uncle (a bank trustee) and formed his own filing and index supply company, American Kardex, later that year. Within five years, American Kardex grew to be one of the leading office supply companies in the United States. It was roughly equal in revenues to Rand Ledger, and the two companies easily dominated the American office supply market. In 1920, American Kardex had more than $1 million in gross sales. The company's products were widely used in the health care field ("filling a Kardex" became common nomenclature for entering data into a patient's medical record), and demand in Europe was so strong that he soon built a factory in Germany. In 1921, he founded the Kardex Institute to collect and disseminate information on good business record-keeping and filing practices. As competition between American Kardex and Rand Ledger intensified, his mother brokered reconciliation between father and son and in 1925; the two men agreed that American Kardex should purchase Rand Ledger. The new company, Rand Kardex, was the largest office supply company in the United States with his father as the company Chairman; and he was its President and General Manager. The company became the largest supplier of office furniture in the world, merging or buying out a number of companies, and in 1927, he merged his company with the Remington Typewriter Co. (which had invented the noiseless and electric typewriters) and changed its name to Remington Rand. He was named Chairman in 1929 and retained that post adding the title of President in 1931.Company sales grew to $500 million by 1954. The Remington Rand plant at Elmira, New York, became the largest business machine manufacturing plant in the world. Wishing to build on the company?s expertise in business machines and showing remarkable foresight, Rand pushed the company into purchasing the Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation in 1950. Founders J. Presper Eckert and John Mauchly had conceived and designed the world?s first purely electronic, Turing-complete, digital computer in 1946. They founded Eckert-Mauchly in 1947, and developed the BINAC computer shortly thereafter. Remington Rand purchased the company in March 1950. Remington Rand merged with the Sperry Corporation in 1955 and he became the company's Vice Chairman. He published his thoughts on business in a book, ?Assuring Business Profits, or How to Run Any Business on a Big Business Basis.?
  • Date of Birth:

    1886 November 18
  • Date of Death:

    1968 June 03
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  • Noted For:

    Founder and President of Remington Rand which became the largest business machine manufacturing plant in the world and later purchased the Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation in 1950 whose founders had conceived and designed the world’s first purely electronic, Turing-complete digital computer in 1946 and in 1947 developed the BINAC computer
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