It was a disaster for the families.
But it started well. The inventor of an early version of the time clock was a jeweler, Willard Legrand Bundy of Auburn, New York. His brother, Harlow Bundy, an entrepreneur, formed Bundy Manufacturing Company in 1889 to produce Willard’s time clock. Their “workman’s time-recorder” captured on paper tape the arrival and departure times of employees. Businesses and factories across the country began using the recorder. In 1900, Bundy Manufacturing merged with other companies to form international time recording, which later became IBM.
But the brothers, who worked together, had disagreements, starting with the firing of one of Willard’s sons. Willard eventually left the company , too. His sons formed a rival time recording company using a new patent. Harlow’s company hammered them with lawsuits for years.
Family disputes aside, the value of the time clock was immediately obvious. It’s ability to accurately track workers’ hours helped workers, who had proof of time worked . And managers received data more accurately and efficiently than from human time recorders.
As the time clock moves to the cloud, its value to companies only increases. Innovations that strengthen employer and employee access to data and communication are of great benefit to us all.
If only the Bundys could see us now.