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Comments: Queries, and Debate: The Size of the Hollerith Punched Card

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000129748D
Original Publication Date: 1992-Sep-30
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Oct-07
Document File: 1 page(s) / 13K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

F.W. Kistermann: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

I would like to elaborate on the statement in the appendix to my paperl that ";this author can find no mention of a connection between the Hollerith card and the dollar bill in the contemporary literature and suspects that this connection was only added recently to the history of data processing.";

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THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.

Copyright ©; 1992 by the American Federation of Information Processing Societies, Inc. Used with permission.

Comments: Queries, and Debate: The Size of the Hollerith Punched Card

F.W. Kistermann

Ahornstrasse 8 Holzgerlingen D-W-7038 Germany

I would like to elaborate on the statement in the appendix to my paperl that "this author can find no mention of a connection between the Hollerith card and the dollar bill in the contemporary literature and suspects that this connection was only added recently to the history of data processing."

When I researched the subject of my publication in 1980, I went to Albert Pick in Munich, Germany, who is known worldwide for his collection of paper money (Collection Pick) and for his catalogs of paper money. He showed me a number of original one-dollar bills of the 1890s. The size comparison gave a clear result: The Baltimore, New Jersey, and New York punched cards were all larger than the one-dollar bill, and the 1890 US Census punched card was very much smaller. The first cards of very nearly the size of the one-dollar bill were the farm card and the crop card used in the US Census of 1900.

To my knowledge, Goldstine is the first one to assert that Hollerith "chose the size because this was the size of the one-dollar bill and saved him building some additional equipment."2

The Eames' in their 1973 books arrange a one-dollar bill with a number of punched cards in the book's section "1900" (p. 46). The...