Monday, July 16, 2018

Charles Ranlett Flint: Father of Trusts

Charles Ranlett Flint (January 24, 1850 – February 26, 1934) financial capitalist, merchant and industrial consolidator was born in Thomaston, Maine, the son of Benjamin Chapman, a shipbuilder and operator, and Sarah Tobey Flint. Benjamin operated the second largest clipper ship fleet then flying the American flag.

In 1885 he joined the firm of Flint & Co., commission merchants, where he was to remain active for some two decades. The firm appears to have been an offshoot of Chapman & Flint, which had gradually evolved from ship-building and operation in Maine, to merchant banking and general merchandise trade in New York.

Charles R. Flint was the founder of the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company, the forerunner of IBM. It was formed in 1911 when The Computing Scale Corporation, The Time Recording Company, and The Tabulating Machine Company were merged by Charles Ranlett Flint. He served on the board of directors of IBM until 1930 when he retired. In 1914 he engaged Thomas J Watson as General Manager, who universally changed the name from C-T-R to International Business Machines in 1924.

In 1900 he was dubbed "the Father of the Trusts" by Chicago newspapers. Flint was responsible for some twenty-one industrial consolidations or mergers including the American Chicle Co., American Woolen Co., Computing Tabulating-Recording Co., Sen-Sen Chicle Co., United States Bobbin and Shuttle Co., and the United States Rubber Co.
Charles Ranlett Flint: Father of Trusts
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