Punched cards were widely used for a range of statistical applications. This card is from a set produced at the University of Illinois in the 1920s. They were created to analyze data for fruit tree research on the university farms.View Artifact Detail
From Math to Data
People used calculators to manipulate numbers. But how do you make machines that also manipulate words or ideas?
Punched cards, a mainstay of early office automation and computing, helped launch the transition from doing math to processing data. Patterns of holes punched in cards can represent any kind of information. Punched cards can preserve data too: just file them away!