Tabulating EquipmentFrom Herman Hollerith to IBM
Herman Hollerith did undergraduate work at the School of Mines of Columbia University in New York. In 1879 he began work the U.S. Census Office, and soon was appointed a special agent charged with collecting statistics on the power and machinery used in manufactures. Hollerith quickly became intrigued by the problem of compiling Census statistics. By 1887 he had devised a tabulating system that included cards, a special punch for making holes in them at select locations to represent Census data, a tabulator that counted data on the cards, and a sorter that eased the task of sorting the cards for reuse. The system was tested in computing mortality statistics for the city of Baltimore. This proved sufficiently successful that Hollerith machines were selected to compile the data accumulated in the 1890 U.S. Census of population.
Hollerith’s system found use not only in the United States but in Britain, France, and Russia. By 1907 he had modified it to accommodate demands of business accounting. The new tabulating systems incorporated an adding machine; used punched cards with columns; had an improved card reader and a key-driven card punch; and offered a mechanical sorter. In 1911 Hollerith’s Tabulating Machine Company merged with two other firms to form the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company, soon renamed IBM. Related companies emerged in France, Germany, and Great Britain. From 1914 Thomas J. Watson headed the firm, cultivating ties to American science, government, and business. IBM constructed one of the first relay computers, used at Harvard University during World War II. It went on to dominate the business of making and selling mainframe electronic computers.
"Tabulating Equipment - From Herman Hollerith to IBM" showing 31 items.
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- This gray desk-sized machine for punching cards to be used as computer input has a table with keyboard at the front and a card hopper, card bed, and card stack at the back. The keyboard is cabled to the punch. Cards move from the hopper at the top left, down into the card bed, across the bed to the left, and up into the stack on the left side. It is possible to punch individual cards and to have several cards programmed to be punched identically in some columns. The model IBM 24 does not print data entered at the top of the card.
- A mark on the punch reads: IBM 24 (/) CARD PUNCH. Another mark there reads: PROPERTY OF (/) INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MACHINES CORP. (/) 024 30864 SO.
- IBM, Reference Manual IBM 24 Card Punch IBM 26 Printing Card Punch, White Plains, N.Y.: IBM, 1965. The first version of this manual appeared in 1949.
- IBM, Field Engineering Maintenance Manual 24-Base Machines, White Plains, N.Y.: IBM, 1965. This manual has museum number 1987.0528.03 and was received with the machine.
- John Diebold & Associates, "IBM 024 and 026 Card Punches," Automatic Data Processing Equipment, Chicago: Cudahy Publishing Company, 1957, section 1A 380.1, pages 2–6.
- Currently not on view
- date made
- ca 1965
- International Business Machines Corporation
- ID Number
- accession number
- catalog number
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center