Hollerith’s Tabulating Machines and the Birth of IBM
Hollerith’s punch card tabulating machine was designed to process the results of the 1890 census in the United States. It used an electric current to sense holes in punched cards, and it kept a running total of the data. The statistics could be recorded by electrically reading and sorting the punched cards, and the results of the census were available in a couple of months rather than years. Hollerith formed the Tabulating Machine Company (the first electric tabulating-machine company) in 1896, and it merged with the International Time Recording Company to form the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company (CTR) in 1911. Thomas Watson joined the company in 1914, and the company changed its name to International Business Machines (IBM) in 1924. IBM has been in business for over 100 years and remains a respected leader in the computing field.