Tabulating Machine Company Card Punch Used at the Bureau of the Census

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This machine was used to punch paper cards for use in data entry for tabulating machines. The tabletop machine accommodates 24-column cards and punches round holes. On the right are ten digit, a V and X keys. Pushing one key at the back moves a card one space to the left and depressing a second one all the way to the left. All the keys have rubber key tops. Cards were manually inserted and removed by the operator. The machine rests on an iron base that fits into a wooden stand painted black.
A tag attached to the front reads: THE TABULATING MACHINE COMPANY (/) NEW YORK CITY. A mark on the card bed on the left reads: 8-28 (/) 36666.
According to the catalog card, the machine was a product of the Tabulating Machine Company and was first used by the Bureau of the Census prior to 1920, possibly in 1917 or 1918, to prepare punched cards for vital statistics. The 1920 population Census cards were punched on the older-style pantograph punch.
The Tabulating Machine Company was formed by Herman Hollerith in 1896 and merged to form the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company in 1911.
Currently not on view
date made
ca 1918
Tabulating Machine Company
place made
United States: New York, New York
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
steel (overall material)
rubber (overall material)
iron (overall material)
overall: 16 cm x 37 cm x 16.5 cm; 6 5/16 in x 14 9/16 in x 6 1/2 in
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Transfer from U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census
Census, US
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Science & Mathematics
Tabulating Equipment
Data Source
National Museum of American History