Binghamton’s Bundy Mansion: Fascinating Relation to IBM
Over the weekend I took my brother to the Bundy Mansion and Museum on Main Street in Binghamton. I bet you’ve driven by a million times and not given it a second glance, but this home holds a whole ton of interesting history- history that’s impacted the entire world.
Willard and Harlow Bundy were brothers and in 1889 they formed a company called Bundy Manufacturing Company right here in Binghamton to produce time clocks. The purpose of the clocks was to eliminate the need for timekeeping and watchmen.
The Bundy Manufacturing Company moved to Endicott in 1906 and merged with Frick Manufacturing Company and Standard Time Stamp Company. They eventually acquired the Chicago Time Registry Company. When they acquired all the little companies, they became known as International Time Recording Company (ITR). As the International Time Recording Company, they acquired the Del Ray Register Company and the Syracuse Time Recording Company in 1911 it and three other companies merged to form the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company (aka CTR).
In 1924, CTR was renamed International Business Machines. That’s right! The little Bundy Manufacturing Company started in Binghamton eventually morphed into the company we know today as IBM!
The Binghamton factories are long gone, but Hawlow Bundy’s home still stands at 129 Main Street and it’s open for you to explore.
When you step through the doors, you’re transported back into a different time. The home is outfitted as it would have been when Harlow and his family lived there complete with a dumbwaiter, a butler phone and even a ballroom plus some other really cool things that I’ll leave quiet for you to discover when you visit.
Step into the carriage house and you’re surrounded by clocks made by the companies that the Bundy boys owned that led to the creation of IBM.
It’s interesting to me that not much credit is given to the Bundy boys. My tour guide told me that when IBM celebrated their 100th birthday, there were only about 20 seconds of mention was given to the two men who made IBM possible when they created their small time clock company back in 1889.
The Bundy Museum also holds a small display about local radio and radio in general. While we were visiting there was another group doing a walk through and the people kept saying things about how we wouldn’t know anything about radio because we’re so young and they also thought my brother didn’t know anything about clocks. He’s a master electrical engineer and an IT specialist. He actually noticed that one of the clocks was hung wrong and it was causing the pendulum swing to be off. Although I wanted to say something to the group, I decided to bite my tongue, but it was a definite lesson in not assuming someone doesn’t know something because they’re young, because my brother knew pretty much everything about the mechanics of the clocks and I knew quite a bit about the radio display.
If you’re looking to do something a little different and something that won’t cost an arm and a leg, I highly recommend checking out the Bundy Museum. It’s really quite fascinating once you take into consideration what two guys who lived in Binghamton did for the world.
Admission is $7 per person with kids 10 and younger admitted for free. The Bundy Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11am-5pm.
To learn more about the Bundy Museum, click here and if you’d like to get a taste of what the museum looks like inside, take a peek below: