What happens when a giant high-tech corporation opens a massive new plant on the outskirts of a small, rural, historic city? And what happens when it just as suddenly leaves?
In Kingston: The IBM Years, three prominent college professors, an award-winning novelist, a longtime Ulster County journalist, and two former IBM Kingston employees examine the history of the IBM complex and the work that was conducted there, the impact the facility had on Kingston and its surroundings, what life was like as an "IBMer," how it influenced regional architecture and thrust a colonial city into the modern age, and the effect of a "boom and bust" cycle on a rural, traditional community.
Rising quickly in 1954-1955 on a 200-acre former dairy farm, the new IBM location near Kingston, New York, was a major event for the city and the entire Mid-Hudson Valley, at that time a quiet area supported by apparel companies, a dying brick-making industry, agriculture, and small, family-run businesses. The IBM complex would eventually grow into a 2.5-million-square-foot facility that employed 7,100 people. In 1995, when IBM Kingston closed and the buildings sold, Kingston had changed forever.
Over the 43 years that the Kingston plant and engineering laboratory were operational, significant discoveries were made and projects developed by its employees that affected the world at large: the SAGE air defense system that could identify any hostile air attacks; the SABRE airline reservation system; the FAA nationwide aircraft control system; and the first interactive displays and software systems that over time would allow individuals to use computers the way we do today.
At the dawn of the computer age, the Hudson River Valley was "Tech Valley," and Kingston was center-stage.
Includes 140 color and B&W illustrations. Essays by Novelist Gail Godwin, Professor Roger Panetta, Professor Harvey K. Flad, Professor William B. Rhoads, journalist Hugh Reynolds, former IBMer Lowell Thing, Timeline by former IBMer George G. Washington, Preface by Project Director Ward L.E. Mintz, Drawings by architect Frances Halsband, Photographs by Stephen Benson.
|Publisher:||Black Dome Press, Corporation|
|Product dimensions:||8.30(w) x 10.80(h) x 0.40(d)|
About the Author
Gail Godwin is the author of fifteen novels and a three-time National Book Award finalist.
Professor Roger Panetta of Fordham University is the author of The Tappan Zee and the Forging of the Rockland Suburb and other books.
Vassar College's Dr. Harvey Flad is coauthor of Main Street to Mainframes: Landscape and Social Change in Poughkeepsie.
Dr. William B. Rhoads of SUNY New Paltz is the author of Ulster County, New York, The Architectural History and Guide and other books.