Data Processing before Computers

  • Thread starter .Scott
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An early reference to the cut corner:

From The Quarterly, Columbia University School of Mines, Vol.X No.16 (Apr 1889), pp.238-255. In this article the author, Columbia graduate (Mines 1879) Herman Hollerith, describes the devices and methods he developed to automate the 1890 US Census; it is the basis for his 1890 Columbia Ph.D. (ref: http://www.columbia.edu/cu/computinghistory/hh/index.html)

With such a keyboard-punch it is, of course, apparent that a perfectly blank card may be used, one corner, however, being cut off to properly locate the card in subsequent operations.​

I think that Hollerith originally intended, even in 1890, that both humans and machines should be prepared to detect and act on the cut corner position.
 

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