Herman Hollerith

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The promulgator of the punched card. Hollerith was born on February 29, 1860 and died on November 17, 1929. He graduated from Columbia University, New York. He joined the US Census Bureau as a statistician where he used a punched card device to help analyse the 1880 US census data. This punched card system stored data in 80 columns. This "80-column" concept has carried forward in various forms into modern applications.

In 1896, Hollerith founded the Tabulating Machine Company to exploit his invention and in 1924 his firm became part of IBM. The Hollerith system was used for the 1911 UK census.

see also statistics

Based on a FOLDOC entry