Iron Mountain’s Peak Moments

Information Management has changed over the years and so have we. Discover how we've adapted every step of the way in our 70-year history.
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Iron Mountain’s Peak Moments

Information Management has changed over the years and so have we. Discover how we've adapted every step of the way in our 70-year history.
  1. Discover who we are
  2. Iron Mountain’s Peak Moments

Herman Knaust

In 1936, Herman Knaust bought the original Iron Mountain site—a depleted iron ore mine with 100 acres of land—where he started a mushroom farm.

Knaust’s decision in 1945 to sponsor the relocation of many Jewish immigrants—who lost identities via missing personal records during WWII—into the United States is what spurred the idea to start protecting vital information from wars or other disasters in his mines.

1950s

It wasn’t until the 1950s that Knaust began to fully convert his prosperous mushroom farm into a business records storage facility.

In 1951, during the midst of the “Cold War Era,” Iron Mountain as we know it today was formally founded, offering bomb-resistant storage.

Fun Fact: Knaust bought the 28-ton bank vault door in Ohio for $1 and paid $20,000 to ship it to New York.

WHAT ELSE WAS HAPPENING IN THE ‘50s?

1959: Xerox introduced the first commercially successful paper copy machine, Xerox 914, which paved the way for information management across all industries in the coming decades. 

1960s

By 1960, Iron Mountain upgraded its Active File Management services, adding Customised Retrieval Labels.

That same year, fallout shelters were built to protect citizens in the case of a nuclear war.

In 1961, the company began storing priceless art, like Claude Monet’s “Boating on the River Epte,” in its vaults.

WHAT ELSE WAS HAPPENING IN THE ‘60s?

1969: The initial internet prototype, ARPAnet (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network), delivered its first message between two computers.


1970s

Iron Mountain went on to purchase its second New York site in 1975. This underground Rosendale limestone mine expanded its information management to 400 acres.

It later went on to open its first above ground storage facility in 1978.

WHAT ELSE WAS HAPPENING IN THE ‘70s?

1970: IBM introduced the first floppy disk, which changed the way information was stored and moved between multiple locations.
1975: Microsoft, which would go on to develop the main PC operating system around the world (Windows), was founded.


1980s

Iron Mountain’s Boston roots go back to 1980 when it opened its first New England facility. This location was dedicated to protecting backup computer data

By the mid-80s, Iron Mountain became the first records management company to use UPC bar codes to allow real-time access to shipped boxes and documents.

Iron Mountain expanded its presence to 12 new markets in the United States. Boston would go on to eventually become Iron Mountain’s world headquarters.

WHAT ELSE WAS HAPPENING IN THE ‘80s?

1982: First Compact Discs (CDs) were released for public use.

1990s

Upon reaching an annual revenue of $100 million, Iron Mountain became a publicly traded company in 1996.

Three years later in 1999, it expanded its Records Management and Data Security services to include records, film, and sound archive storage offerings.

Iron Mountain added 46 new markets throughout the ‘90s marking its first overseas locations.

WHAT ELSE WAS HAPPENING IN THE ‘90s?

1994: Amazon was founded as an online marketplace for books.
1997: Speech recognition software was developed by Dragon Systems and implemented on Windows operating systems.
1998: Google was founded, utilising relationships between websites to complete an online search for the first time.


2000s

As the online world expanded, so did Iron Mountain’s offerings. In 2001, it launched its two key information protection and storage technologies:

  • Electronic Vaulting for Online Backup and Recovery
  • Digital Archives for Electronic Records Management

In 2002, Microsoft founder Bill Gates moved his entire Corbis collection of photographs into Iron Mountain’s vaults for preservation and digitisation. With over 11 million images—which includes originals of The Beatles, Ernest Hemingway, Franklin Rosevelt, and the Kennedys—this is thought to be the largest collection of historic images in the world.

To preserve all past, present, and future media formats, Iron Mountain launched Entertainment Services (IMES) in 2007.

WHAT ELSE WAS HAPPENING IN THE 2000s?

2004: Facebook was founded as a social platform to connect college students.
2006: Twitter was founded as a microblogging site.


2010s

Iron Mountain formally established Employee Resource Groups to support its diverse range of colleagues in 2011 and its philanthropic programme, Moving Mountains, in 2012 to extend its impact beyond everyday work.

To continue serving companies’ growing need for electronic information storage, Iron Mountain established its Data Centres division in 2013.

Demonstrating its commitment to sustainability, Iron Mountain introduced Secure IT Asset Disposition Services in 2015.

For enhanced data protection, Iron Mountain introduced its multi-tiered storage offering, Iron Cloud for Enterprise data Management, in 2017. In the same year, it also achieved 100% renewable energy use in its data centres.

Throughout the 2010s, Iron Mountain’s Entertainment Services digitised the JFK Presidential Library archive, stored $200 million of unpublished Prince recordings, and welcomed Ozzy Osbourne to listen to his original album recordings.

WHAT ELSE WAS HAPPENING IN THE 2010s?

2010: Apple launched the iPad, creating the mobile tablet market.
 


2020s

In 2020, six years ahead of schedule, Iron Mountain cut its greenhouse emissions by 52%.

Through its Cyark-powered Living Legacy Program (est. 2014), Iron Mountain was able to digitally preserve the following by 2020:

  • Three historic properties to celebrate the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote from its first dedicated event, the Seneca Falls Convention.
  • New York’s historic Stonewall Inn to highlight its vital importance to LGBTQ rights.
  • Germany’s Brandenburg Gate to commemorate the 25th anniversary of German Reunification.
  • Melbourne’s Historic Royal Exhibition Building.

In 2021, Iron Mountain signed the Amazon Climate Pledge, setting the goal to be carbon neutral by 2040.

Today, Iron Mountain operates in 58 countries with 225,000+ customers in 95% of Fortune 1,000 companies.

WHAT ELSE WAS HAPPENING IN THE 2020s?

2020: Covid-19 pandemic impacted the entire world.