<person> The promulgator of the punched card. Hollerith was born on
1860-02-29 and died on 1929-11-17. He graduated from Columbia University,
NewYork, NY, USA. He joined the US Census Bureau as a statistician where he used
a punched card device to help analyse the 1880 US census data. This punched card
system stored data in 80 columns. This "80-column" concept has carried forward
in various forms into modern applications.
In 1896, Hollerith founded the Tabulating Machine Company to exploit his
invention and in 1924 his firm became part of IBM. The Hollerith system was used
for the 1911 UK census.
A correspondant writes:
Wasn't Hollerith's original machine first used for the 1990 US census? And I
think I am right in saying that the physical layout was a 20x12 grid of round
holes. The one I have seen (picture only, unfortunately, not the real thing) did
not use 'columns' as such but holes were grouped into irregularly-shaped fields,
such that each hole had a more-or-less independent function.
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