June 8, 1887: Herman Hollerith Gets Patent for Punch Card Reader
1887 – Herman Hollerith is a pioneer. His creations in the 19th century were detrimental in modern computing. Herman Hollerith’s creations helped the United States create a Census. On June 8th he received a patent for a punch card reader, which was used in many fashions, including school attendance, for almost 100 years.
Hollerith’s Punch card system also has been at the point of controversy – IBM was sued using the Alien Tort Claims Act because Hollerith machines were used in the 1933 census. This ultimately gave Adolf Hitler a full list of Germans and Jews in Germany. It was so useful to the Nazis, apparently a machine was set at each concentration camp.
Full Day in Tech History podcast show notes for June 8