The origins of the use of punched cards for data processing and storage can be traced back to the German-American inventor Herman Hollerith, who sped up and partially mechanised the processing of data during the 1890 US census (an official survey of the population) by using punched cards, inspired by the work of Joseph Marie Jacquard, to record each person's information.


  • Title: Herman Hollerith
  • Creator: Charles Milton Bell
  • Date Created: 1849/1893
  • Rights: Image: Herman Hollerith, head-and-shoulders portrait, facing left. Credit: C.M. Bell (Photographer), c.1849-1893. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

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