Hollerith Electric Tabulating System (replica)

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  • Description
Date Introduced
1890 (replica: 1981)
Photographer
Richards, Mark
Dimensions
56 x 38 x 36 in. tabulator; 31 x 29 x 14 in. sorter
Manufacturer
Roberto Guatelli
Credit Line
Gift of Digital Equipment Corporation
Copyright Owner
© Mark Richards
Location
United States
Keywords
Unit record equipment; Tabulating machine; Census; Hollerith, Herman
Object ID
XD231.81

The 60 million cards punched in the 1890 United States census were fed manually into machines like this for processing. The dials counted the number of cards with holes in a particular position. The sorter on the right would be activated by certain hole combinations, allowing detailed statistics to be generated (for example, the number of married farmers over 40 years of age). An average operator could process about 7,000 cards a day, at least ten times faster than manual methods.