June 8, 1887: Herman Hollerith Gets Patent for Punch Card Reader

Hollerith Punch Card Reader

June 8, 1887: Herman Hollerith gets Patent for  Hollerith 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.

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Jeffrey Powers @geekazine

I love tech history. I enjoy how we evolved from computers that fill a room to computers we wear on our bodies. I have put a full archive of tech history together at Wikazine. You can also talk history at Google +. I am also a podcaster and V-caster at Geekazine and a Podcast Coach at How to Record Podcasts. You can also sign up for a Helpout

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