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Herman Knaust founded Iron Mountain in 1951 in Livingston, NY. Hailed as the “Mushroom King” by his Hudson River Valley neighbours, Knaust first made his fortune by growing and marketing mushrooms. In 1936, he paid $9,000 for a depleted iron ore mine and 100 acres of land so that he could have more space to grow his product. But by 1950, the mushroom market had shifted, so Mr. Knaust decided upon a new business venture—one that would make good use of his mine, which he named "Iron Mountain."
After World War II, Mr. Knaust sponsored the relocation to the United States of many Jewish immigrants who had lost their identities because their personal records had been destroyed during the war. At this time, the world was also embroiled in Cold War apprehension regarding atomic security. Both factors caused Mr. Knaust to focus on protecting vital information from wars or other disasters.
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As a result, Iron Mountain Atomic Storage, Inc. was founded in 1951. Mr. Knaust opened the first "vaults" inside Iron Mountain and put a sales office in the Empire State Building. Having a knack for publicity, he persuaded luminaries such as General Douglas MacArthur to visit the Iron Mountain site. The attendant publicity was the extent of the new venture's marketing program. Iron Mountain's first customer was East River Savings Bank, which brought microfilm copies of deposit records and duplicate signature cards in armored cars to the new mountain facility for storage. Other corporate customers soon followed as New York-based companies began to realise the need to protect their important records.
Iron Mountain continued to grow in the New York City market, expanding beyond the original facility into a depleted limestone mine closer to the city. Iron Mountain was now the premier vital records protection company.
Clients soon wanted storage for their high volume of paper records as well. In 1978, Iron Mountain opened its first above-ground records storage facility in New York. Iron Mountain expanded beyond the New York City market in 1980, when it opened a site in New England to service the emerging need to protect computer backup data. In 1983, Iron Mountain expanded further in New England with the purchase of New England Storage Warehouse in Boston. This was Iron Mountain's first acquisition, and it gave the company a strong entry into the medical and legal records management markets.
By the mid-1980s, Iron Mountain had accumulated all the product lines that comprise the foundation of the current company. It offered paper records storage and management services (including major operations in the medical and legal vertical markets), offsite data protection services and vital records protection services in the New York and New England markets.
In 1988, Iron Mountain took a major step forward with the acquisition of Bell & Howell Records Management, Inc., a subsidiary of Bell & Howell Corporation and four times its size. Bell & Howell Records Management, then the industry leader, served 12 major U.S. markets, none of which were being served by Iron Mountain. As a result, Iron Mountain became the first national service provider in the industry.
Expansion continued to increase; by 1995, Iron Mountain had grown to exceed $100 million in annual revenue. Company leaders felt the time was right for the records management industry to consolidate. In February 1996, Iron Mountain became a public company, raising capital, in part, to initiate this consolidation.
Today, Iron Mountain stands as the industry leader in storage and information management services, serving 230,000 customers in 50+ countries on six continents. Publicly traded on the NYSE under IRM, Iron Mountain is an S&P 500 company and a member of the Fortune 1000 (currently ranked: 619). Organisations in every major industry and of all sizes—including more than 95% of the FORTUNE 1000—rely on Iron Mountain as their information management partner.
With a 2015 revenue of $3.0 billion and the broadest service platform serving the most global markets, Iron Mountain is the world's trusted partner for storage and information management services. Herman Knaust displayed great foresight in 1952 when he said, “This business will mushroom…”
Iron Mountain Atomic Storage Corporation is established by Herman Knaust
Iron Mountain, the present company, purchases the underground mine and the nearby, larger underground site from Knaust
Iron Mountain purchases nearby above-ground record center and begins developing high-density storage systems
Company expands to New England with the purchase of a third underground facility
Becomes a founding member of Professional Records and Information Services Management (PRISM), formerly ACRC
C. Richard Reese joins the Company as president and CEO
Iron Mountain expands to New Hampshire and New Jersey
Company establishes corporate headquarters in Boston and purchases New England Storage Warehouse
Becomes dominant records management company in the Northeast
Iron Mountain becomes a national company with the acquisition of Bell & Howell Records Management Company
Iron Mountain introduces customers to SafeKeeper, its proprietary records inventory management system
Company launches Records Management Consulting Services
Richard Reese is named chairman of the board
Iron Mountain begins trading on the NASDAQ under the symbol IMTN
Iron Mountain becomes the leading software escrow company in the world with the acquisition of Data Securities International, Inc. (DSI)
Enters the Health Information Management services market with the acquisition of Record Masters (HIMSCorp.)
Iron Mountain becomes the leading off-site data protection company in the U.S. with the acquisition of Arcus Data Security, Inc. (renamed Off-Site Data Protection in 2001)
Company establishes its first international presence through acquisition of British Data Management (BDM) in the UK
Enters the Mexican market with the acquisition of SAC Mexico
Moves to the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol IRM
Iron Mountain enters Latin America through the acquisition of Storage, S.A. in Argentina
Merges with Pierce Leahy Archives, the second largest records management company, making Iron Mountain the only company to provide a full line of records and information management services throughout the Western Hemisphere and in Europe
Establishes Iron Mountain Confidential Destruction division (later renamed Information Destruction)
Company launches two key technology solutions for information protection and storage: Electronic Vaulting services for online backup and recovery and Digital Archives for electronic records management
The Boston Business Journal names Iron Mountain "Company of the Year"
Iron Mountain debuts on the FORTUNE 1000 list at #887
Ernst & Young names CEO Richard Reese "N.E. Entrepreneur of the Year"
Significantly increases its presence throughout Europe by acquiring the Information Management Services unit of Hays PLC
Iron Mountain climbs to #857 on the FORTUNE 1000 list
Expands its Intellectual Property Management services by acquiring domain name management firm Arcemus®
Expands Secure Shredding services in Canada through the acquisition of Ontario-based franchiser Proshred Security International Inc.
Forms the Iron Mountain Digital business unit, following the acquisition of Connected Corporation, a leader in online backup and distributed data protection
Company appoints Bob Brennan as President of North America
Iron Mountain moves up to #811 on the FORTUNE 1000 list
Enters the Pacific Rim with the acquisition of the Australian and New Zealand operations of Pickfords Records Management ("PRM")
Bob Brennan is promoted to President and Chief Operating Officer
Acquires LiveVault Corporation, a leading provider of disk-based online server backup and recovery solutions, further extending the Company's technology portfolio
Iron Mountain rises to #783 on the FORTUNE 1000 list
Iron Mountain expands Government Services Organisation; opens new government-focused business unit headquarters in Dulles, Va.
Acquires DigiGuard, a leading provider of data protection services in Australia and New Zealand
Boston Leader Summit honors Richard Reese with  Visionary Leadership award
Iron Mountain ascends to #780 on the FORTUNE 1000 list
Debuts in Forbes magazine's "Top 400 Best Big Companies"
Extends records management portfolio with acquisition of Accutrac Software, Inc.
Acquires Stratify, Inc., augmenting its suite of eDiscovery services
Iron Mountain moves to #722 on the FORTUNE 1000 list
Bob Brennan is elected president and CEO and Richard Reese becomes executive chairman of the board 
Security magazine names Iron Mountain to its annual ranking of the nation's most secure companies, the Security 500 
Iron Mountain climbs to #681 on the FORTUNE 1000 list
Joins the S&P 500 Index
Tops $3 billion in annual revenue for the first time in the company's history
Iron Mountain acquires Mimosa Systems
Company issues first ever quarterly dividend payment to shareholders and initiates stock repurchase program
Iron Mountain climbs 37 spots to #644 on FORTUNE 1000 list
InfoWorld names Iron Mountain to its "Green 15" list of the world’s most eco-friendly IT projects
Iron Mountain completes sale of digital business unit to Autonomy Corporation
Announces three-year strategic plan for its business, committing to return $2.2 billion to Iron Mountain shareholders by 2013
Richard Reese resumes CEO role for Iron Mountain
Iron Mountain appoints William Meaney president and CEO
Board approves plan to pursue conversion to a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT)
Adds first solar panels atop select storage facilities
Iron Mountain appoints Alfred J. Verrechia as Chairman of the Board of Directors
Richard Reese retires from Iron Mountain and its Board of Directors after 31 years
Added to FTSE4Good Index for meeting globally recognized standards for corporate responsibility
Iron Mountain ranks #712 on the FORTUNE 1000 list
Announced company’s first-ever commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, targeting a 5 percent cut by the end of 2014
Iron Mountain ranks #726 on the Fortune 1000 List
Coverts to a Real Estate Investment Trust, effective Jan. 1
Publishes first-ever Corporate Responsibility report
Appoints Jennifer Allerton and Pamela Arway to Board of Directors
Purchases Securit Records Management, sells shredding operations in United Kingdom, Ireland and Australia
Iron Mountain ranks #730 on the Fortune 1000 List
Iron Mountain ranks #729 on the Fortune 1000 List
Iron Mountain ranks #649 on the Fortune 1000 List
Iron Mountain ranks #619 on the Fortune 1000 List