Universal Business Machines Horizontal Card Sorter

By the mid-20th century, a few firms challenged the dominance of IBM and Remington Rand Univac in the tabulating machine business. One of these was Universal Business Machines, Inc., of Columbia, S.C.This is a card sorter designed and sold by that company.
The horizontal sorter has a keyboard that fits onto the left front with a set of three rows of letter keys and a number pad to the right of these. The cards apparently are fed from the left and sorted into 27 open compartments, 14 in an upper row and 13 in a lower row. These compartments are covered with metal flaps. The first row has compartments labeled A*0, B*1, C*2, D*3, E*4, F*5, G*6, H*7, I*8, J*8, K, L, M, and REJ. The second row has bins labeled N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, and Z. Metal panels at the front of each row of bins can be lowered to remove cards.
A mark on the left front of the sorter reads: MANUFACTURED BY (/) UNIVERSAL BUSINESS MACHINES, INC. (/) COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA. Another mark there reads: SERIAL NO 5531 (/) MODEL NO V1526. A mark on the right front reads: UNIVERSAL SORTER. A mark on the left side reads: TREASURY DEPARTMENT (/) US INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE. Marks in chalk on the back read: KEEP and: NO SCRAP.
Currently not on view
Object Name
tabulating equipment
date made
ca 1960
Universal Business Machines
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
plastic (overall material)
overall: 87.3 cm x 195 cm x 83 cm; 34 3/8 in x 76 25/32 in x 32 11/16 in
place made
United States: South Carolina, Columbia
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Computers & Business Machines
Tabulating Equipment
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Tabulating Equipment
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Edward S. Stein and Ann R. Stein in memory of Lena Stein

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