Pitney Bowes Inc. is an American provider of global eCommerce solutions, shipping and mailing products, location intelligence, customer engagement and customer information management solutions. Based in Stamford, Connecticut, the company has approximately 16,100 employees worldwide. It is one of 87 existing firms that have been members of the S&P 500 since its creation in 1957.Other major U.S. centers of operation include Danbury, Connecticut; Shelton, Connecticut; Troy, New York; and Lanham, Maryland.HistoryIn 1902, Arthur Pitney patented his first "double-locking" hand-cranked postage-stamping machine, and, with patent attorney Eugene A. Rummler, founded the Pitney Postal Machine Company. In 1908, English emigrant and founder of the Universal Stamping Machine Company Walter Bowes began providing stamp-canceling machines to the United States Postal Service. Bowes moved his operations to Stamford in 1917. A rapid increase in mail volume in 1919 made the Post Office more receptive to metered mail, and Pitney subsequently traveled to meet Bowes. On March 15, 1920, the United States House of Representatives passed a bill authorizing mechanical stamps on First-Class Mail, and on April 23, 1920, the two companies merged to form the Pitney Bowes Postage Meter Company, with the goal of producing a machine that would combine Pitney's "double-locking" counter with Bowes' system for wrapping postage payment, postmarking and cancellation. The United States Post Office approved their postage meter on August 25, 1920.