AITP celebrates its 60th Anniversary in 2011. This is the first in a series of articles about AITP and its predecessors over the last six decades.
The year was 1951. Harry S Truman was President of the United States, and George VI was King of England. Alaska and Hawaii still had eight years to wait for Statehood. In professional baseball, the Dodgers played in Brooklyn, Athletics (A's) in Philadelphia, Giants in New York, and Braves in Boston. Vince Lombardi was an assistant football coach at West Point. The first commercial electronic computer produced in the United States, called UNIVAC, was delivered to the United States Census Bureau on March 31st and dedicated on June 14th.
Electronic tabulation of data was the leading technology of the day to organize information, perform accounting functions and track inventory. The equipment used were electromechanical devices known as tabulators and accounting machines. With the introduction of the IBM 407 Accounting Machine in 1949, the future never looked brighter for these accounting machines and the machine accountants who used them. Machine accountants were the early business technology professionals.
In 1951, machine accountants in Chicago who belonged to a local group called the Machine Accountants Association (MAA) decided that the future was only beginning for the machines they were operating. The IBM 407, however, was still new. Few people understood it, and managing this new technology was a skill that even fewer people possessed. The machine accountants recognized the need to form a professional support group, a national association, to address the growing issues of this new technology. On December 26, 1951, after a constitutional convention was held in Chicago, the State of Illinois granted a charter and the National Machine Accountants Association (NMAA) was founded.
Today, AITP is the successor to NMAA. As AITP enters its 60th anniversary year, the skill set of its members looks much different from that of its machine accounting founders -- from the need to be business savvy to the soft skills required to bridge the gap between business and technology. And we can't forget the myriad of technologies at our disposal today for operating, sustaining and growing an organization.
To help mark our 60th year, we have created this "anniversary" banner for our members and chapters to display in their email signature lines, and on their websites, and on their social sites. The banner has been created in various sizes and the zip file can be downloaded from the AITP web site.
The anniversary banner, as well as other AITP graphics, brochures, and promotional materials can be found at the AITP Logos Page (hover over "AITP Leaders Only" in the left navigation rail, hover over "Chapter Resources", select "AITP Logos"
Editor's Note: Thanks to Nita Adams for her contribution to this article.