Tabulating Machines - Research Article from Macmillan Science Library: Computer Sciences

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Earliest Punched Card Machines

The first machine to use punched cards was a loom designed in 1801 by a French weaver named Joseph-Marie Jacquard (1752–1834). It used punched holes in a card to direct the movement of needles, thread, and fabric on a loom so elaborate patterns could be created. In 1833 English inventor Charles Babbage (1791–1871) designed what he called the "Analytical Engine." Although Babbage's device was never fully built or operational, he conceptualized a general-purpose computer that could add, subtract, multiply, and divide in automatic sequence. It was designed to follow instructions from punched cards.

From Hollerith to Ibm

In the late 1880s, Herman Hollerith (1860–1929) began developing a punched card machine to record and process data to be used in tabulating the U.S. census. In 1890 Hollerith's punched card tabulating machine was used successfully for the U.S. Census Bureau. The machine consisted of a puncher...

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This section contains 1,281 words
(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Tabulating Machines Encyclopedia Article
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Macmillan Science Library: Computer Sciences
Tabulating Machines from Macmillan Science Library: Computer Sciences. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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