What is Herman Hollerith? - Definition from WhatIs.com
Part of the Computing fundamentals glossary:

Born in 1860 in Buffalo, NY, Herman Hollerith was the creator of the Hollerith Electric Tabulating System, the ancestor to computers as we know them today. The system used cards with punched holes to tabulate data. Though first used in 1887 for calculating mortality statistics, Hollerith's punch card system became widely known when it was used to tabulate the U.S population during the 1890 census.

Hollerith founded the Tabulating Machine Company in 1896. His punch card machine, now fitted with automatic card feeders, was used again in the 1900 census. But by 1910, the US Census Bureau decided to build their own machines because Hollerith was charging too much money for use of his machines.

In 1911, Hollerith's Tabulating Machine Company merged with another machine manufacturer to form Computer Tabulating Recording Company. The new company struggled to gain market share for nearly ten years, and it wasn't until 1920 that it became a leader in the counting machine industry. Hollerith retired in 1921. In 1924, under the direction of Thomas Watson, Sr., the company was renamed International Business Machines Corporation (IBM).

As a primary form of data input for computers, the punch card existed well into the early 1970s before the interactive display terminal began its ascendance. Hollerith died in 1929 in Washington, D.C., and is widely known today as the father of information processing.

This was last updated in September 2005
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

Related Terms

Definitions

  • JBoss

    - JBoss is a division of Red Hat that provides support for the JBoss open source application server program and related middleware services marketed under the JBoss Enterprise Middleware brand. (WhatIs.com)

  • GPU supercomputer

    - A GPU supercomputer is a networked group of computers with multiple graphics processing units working as general-purpose GPUs (GPGPUs) in tandem on a single task. (WhatIs.com)

  • video card (graphics card)

    - A video adapter (alternate terms include graphics card, display adapter, video card, video board and almost any combination of the words in these terms) is an integrated circuit card in a computer ... (WhatIs.com)

Glossaries

  • Computing fundamentals

    - Terms related to computer fundamentals, including computer hardware definitions and words and phrases about software, operating systems, peripherals and troubleshooting.

  • Internet applications

    - This WhatIs.com glossary contains terms related to Internet applications, including definitions about Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery models and words and phrases about web sites, e-commerce ...

Ask a Question About Herman HollerithPowered by ITKnowledgeExchange.com

Get answers from your peers on your most technical challenges

Tech TalkComment

Share
Comments

    Results

    Contribute to the conversation

    All fields are required. Comments will appear at the bottom of the article.