HERMAN HOLLERITH (February 29, 1860 – November 17, 1929) was an
American inventor who developed an electromechanical punched card
tabulator to assist in summarizing information and, later, accounting.
He was the founder of the Tabulating Machine Company that was
amalgamated (via stock acquisition) in 1911 with three other companies
to form a fifth company, the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company
* 1 Personal life * 2 Electromechanical tabulation of data * 3 Inventions and businesses * 4 Death and legacy * 5 See also * 6 Notes * 7 Further reading * 8 External links
The herein-described method of compiling statistics, which consists in recording separate statistical items pertaining to the individual by holes or combinations of holes punched in sheets of electrically non-conducting material, and bearing a specific relation to each other and to a standard, and then counting or tallying such statistical items separately or in combination by means of mechanical counters operated by electro-magnets the circuits through which are controlled by the perforated sheets, substantially as and for the purpose set forth.
INVENTIONS AND BUSINESSES
Hollerith punched card Hollerith's grave at Oak Hill
Cemetery in Georgetown in
Hollerith had left teaching and begun working for the United States Census Bureau in the year he filed his first patent application. Titled "Art of Compiling Statistics", it was filed on September 23, 1884; U.S. Patent 395,782 was granted on January 8, 1889.
Hollerith initially did business under his own name, as The Hollerith Electric Tabulating System, specializing in punched card data processing equipment . He provided tabulators and other machines under contract for the Census Office, which used them for the 1890 census . The net effect of the many changes from the 1880 census: the larger population, the data items to be collected, the Census Bureau headcount, the scheduled publications, and the use of Hollerith's electromechanical tabulators, was to reduce the time required to process the census from eight years for the 1880 census to six years for the 1890 census.
In 1896 Hollerith founded the Tabulating Machine Company (in 1905 renamed The Tabulating Machine Company). Many major census bureaus around the world leased his equipment and purchased his cards, as did major insurance companies. Hollerith's machines were used for censuses in England, Italy, Germany, Russia, Austria, Canada, France, Norway, Puerto Rico, Cuba, and the Philippines, and again in the 1900 census .
He invented the first automatic card-feed mechanism and the first keypunch . The 1890 Tabulator was hardwired to operate on 1890 Census cards. A control panel in his 1906 Type I Tabulator simplified rewiring for different jobs. The 1920s removable control panel supported prewiring and near instant job changing. These inventions were among the foundations of the data processing industry and Hollerith's punched cards (later used for computer input/output ) continued in use for almost a century.
In 1911 four corporations, including Hollerith's firm, were
amalgamated to form a fifth company, the
Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company (CTR). Under the presidency of
Thomas J. Watson
DEATH AND LEGACY
Hollerith is buried at Oak Hill Cemetery in the Georgetown
Hollerith cards were named after the elder Herman Hollerith, as were Hollerith constants (also sometimes called Hollerith strings), an early type of string constant declaration (in computer programming).
His great-grandson, the Rt. Rev.
Herman Hollerith IV is the Episcopal
bishop of the Diocese of Southern Virginia , and another
great-grandson, Randolph Marshall Hollerith, is an Episcopal priest
and the dean of Washington National Cathedral in
* ^ "Lucia Beverly Talcott". ancestry.com . Retrieved 28 Feb 2015.
* ^ Cambell-Kelly, Martin; Aspray, William (2004). Computer: a
history of the information machine (2 ed.). Basic Books. p. 16.
* ^ A B C Da Cruz, Frank (28 Mar 2011). "Herman Hollerith".
www.columbia.edu. Columbia University. Retrieved 28 Feb 2014.
* ^ Brooks, Frederick P.; Iverson, Kenneth E. (1963). Automatic
Data Processing. Wiley. p. 94 "semiautomatic".
* ^ "