In the world of technology, success is far from guaranteed. While today, the word "tech" may conjure up images of smartphones and social media platforms, some of today's oldest technology companies stem from inventions that we now take for granted.

From the creator of the lightbulb to the pocket calculator, here is a look at five tech companies averaging nearly 105 years in age that were considered radical innovators when they went public.

1892: GE

General Electric Company stock certificate, 1892

Before computers, software and the Internet, electric light was the ultimate tech invention. GE traces its beginnings back to light bulb inventor Thomas Edison and his Edison General Electric Company. Edison's company and manufacturer Thomson-Houston Company merged in 1892 to create GE, which began trading on the New York Stock Exchange in June of that year.

1901: AT&T

American Telephone and Telegraph Company stock certificate, 1901

AT&T has its roots in Bell Telephone Company, which was founded by telephone inventor Alexander Graham Bell in 1877. Beyond the telephone and long-distance phone networks, the telecommunications giant counts the first air-to-ground radio communications, the creation of technology for sound motion pictures and the invention of broadband coaxial cable among its achievements. American Telephone and Telegraph Company, which began as a Bell subsidiary, acquired Bell's assets in an 1899 corporate reorganization. It was listed on the NYSE two years later. 

1915: IBM

Computing-Tabulating-Recording Co. stock certificate, 1915

Before it became known for its computers and software, IBM -- under its old, not-so-catchy name, Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company -- made tabulating machines and punch clocks. CTR was listed on the NYSE in 1915 and adopted the name International Business Machines Corporation a few years later.

1936: Xerox

Haloid Company Common Stock

Famous for its copy machines, Xerox began its life as Haloid Company, a maker of photographic paper and equipment. Haloid Company began selling shares to the public in 1936 but wasn't listed on the New York Stock Exchange until 1961, the same year it adopted the Xerox name.

1953: Texas Instruments

Texas Instruments stock certificate, 1953

Texas Instruments, the maker of semiconductors and the world's first electronic handheld calculator, was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 1953. It moved to the NASDAQ in 2012.

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GE, AT&T, IBM, and Texas Instruments images courtesy of New York Stock Exchange Archives / NYSE Group. The Haloid Company image courtesy of Xerox.

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