In 1954 Jack Tramiel founded Commodore as a typewriter repair service. Jack Tramiel was Polish, and after Auschwitz he traveled to the United States and joined the Army. After the army he decided to open a repair shop in the Bronx.
Tramiel always had an inclination towards technology such as mechanical and electro-mechanical.
Tramiel Moved again in 1955, this time to Ontario, Canada becoming a low-cost office furniture manufacturer.
In the 70’s there was a boom in the calculator and digital watches and although Tramiel ventured in this area in 1976 Commodore was on the edge of insolvency. Tramiel was saved by Irving Gould by lending him three million dollars and purchased MOS technologies.
The acquisition was key to Tramiel’s philosophy of vertical integration. By production and distribution controlling, Commodore kept its costs very low and it’s products competitive.
Commodore was again transferred to the Bahamas in order to take advantage of lower taxes, which eventually the company came on its feet again.
The headquarters and manufacturing base was in California. The idea in the 70’s was that the future of computers was in databases which were accessed via terminals. Desktop computers and affordable models were still a far reached idea. Tramiel refused to accept this. Determined as he was, in 1977 Commodore introduced the PET (Personal Electronic Transactor) which was designed by Chuck Paddle and it was sold at $795.