Saturday, November 06, 2021

Interesting Technology Tidbit

"Perfecting the punch cards for computers came about because Herman Hollerith, an employee of the U.S. Census Bureau, was appalled that it took close to eight years to manually tabulate the 1880 census. He resolved to automate the 1890 count." - Walter Isaacson The Innovators

Using Hollerith's "tabulators" the 1890 census was completed in one year rather than eight.

Punch cards were basically the birth of computer programming; which led to hard drives, floppy disks and the what we have today. And to think the US Government actually had an important role in it.

Maybe even more interesting is the fact that Hollerith left government service and founded a company based upon his punch cards, After a series of mergers and acquisitions that company in 1924 became known as International Business Machines (IBM).  

1 comment:

  1. That is an excellent book -- Isaacson writes about the people and the technology very well.