Lehman Brothers Collection - Contemporary Business Archives

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Lehman Brothers Collection

Twentieth-Century Business Archives

Sperry Rand Corporation - Lehman Brothers Collection

Sperry Rand Corporation

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The Sperry Rand Corporation was formed on July 1, 1955, by the merger of the Sperry Corporation with Remington Rand, Inc. At the time of the merger the value of the combined companies was $484 million. The chairman of the new corporation was retired General Douglas MacArthur. The terms of the merger stated that the outstanding common stock of the two companies would be converted into Sperry Rand Corporation stock at the rate of 3 ¼ shares for one share of Sperry common stock and two for each share of Remington Rand common stock.

Both Sperry Rand and Remington had innovative roots and were created in the early part of the twentieth century. The history of Sperry dates to 1910 when Elmer A. Sperry, an inventor and businessman, founded Sperry Gyroscope Company, a maker of gyrocompasses and other directional finding devices. In 1930 Sperry Gyroscope, working closely with Lt. James Doolittle, developed an artificial horizon and the aircraft directional gyro, which quickly were used aboard airmail planes and the aircraft of the fledgling commercial airlines. TWA was the first commercial buyer of these two products. The company became the Sperry Corporation in 1933. By the 1950s Sperry was described as a major producer of electro-mechanical and hydraulic devices, electronic instrumentation, and gyroscopes.

The origin of Rand stems back to the early 1920s when James H. Rand Jr. built a $10 million business based on his father’s patented record-keeping system, called the “Rand-Kardex” office machine business. In 1927 his company, Rand-Kardex, merged with four other companies: Remington Typewriter, Dalton Adding Machine Company, Powers Accounting Machine Corporation, and the Safe Cabinet Company. The new company was called Remington Rand. In 1945 Remington introduced the Remington Eniac, the first digital computer, and in 1949 it produced the 409, the world’s first business computer. The 409 was later sold as the Univac 60 and 120 and was the first computer used by the Internal Revenue Service and the first computer installed in Japan. In 1953 Remington introduced UNIVAC 1103, the first commercial use of random access memory.

In the year ending March 1956, Sperry Rand reported earnings of $46.3 million from revenues of $710.7 million. The following year, in 1957, the company announced that sales and net income set new records for the corporation and its predecessor companies on a combined basis. The net income was reported as $49.6 million and sales were $871.0 million, up 23 percent from the previous year.

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