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Herman Hollerith

1860, Buffalo NY, USA
1929, Buffalo NY, USA

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Achievement

 

Biography

Son of German immigrants born in Buffalo, New York. In 1879 he got his masters at the University of Columbia School for mining and started to work for the cencus buro in Washington.

He came at the right time to see hundreds of clercks wrestling to proces all data of the cencus from 1880 by hand.

John Shaw Billings, a high official for the buro and Hollerith's future father in law, suggested to process all counting by punched cards, and Hollerith started to work through the 80's and developed a system just for that puirpose. It is un known whether Billings gotr the idea himself. From studying Jaquards loom or by watching the railway conductors punching tickets

But he was satisfied with the idea that Hollerith followed up on the idea. By 1890 Hollerith perfected the system.

In a census office speed contest, his statistical tabulator bested several rivals to win the 1890 census contract. And this forged a new link in the chain of computer history.

 

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