Four of us former zipperheads (i.e., IBM employees) visited the Bundy Museum of History and Art in Binghamton NY and thoroughly enjoyed it. The main attractions is the Queen Anne style Victorian house built by Harlow and Julia Bundy in the 1890s. The Bundy brothers started the first ever time recording company which became quite successful and, through various mergers and acquisitions, eventually became IBM.
Our museum guide was well versed in the house, its history and restoration, the Bundy family history, life in the late 1800s, and the whole evolution of the time recording business. The museum includes a nice display of many of the clocks, scales, and other devices made by Bundy Manufacturing Company through its incredible evolution.
The museum also has an improbable collection of other things related to Binghamton history including a lot of Rod Serling/”Twilight Zone” memorabilia, and a complete barbershop that used to serve the clean-cut Endicott IBM employees from 1940 through 1982.
The museum also features rotating displays; we saw some interesting artwork from a local (Endicott) artist and some (rather unfortunate) installation works by Binghamton University students scattered around the mansion.
It was a fun and fascinating couple of hours for us. We recommend it to anyone in the area who might have an interest in Victorian homes, life around 1900, IBM origins, Rod Serling, old barbershops, or “interesting” art.
Robert Morgan said:
That looks like great interesting fun. When did that place open? I don’t remember it from my “Southern Tier” years ?
Paul Duncan said:
The Bundy Museum opened in 2004 but they’ve had a rather low profile what with the house being smaller than the better-known Roberson and Phelps mansions in Binghamton. But the backstory of the Bundy home along with the business family tree leading to IBM is fascinating. (Sadly the story is quite the contrast to the malaise that continues to permeate the Southern Tier ever since the decline beginning in the early 1980s.)
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