Document (#35347)

Author
Heide, L.
Title
Punched-card systems and the early information explosion, 1880-1945
Imprint
Baltimore : Johns Hopkins Univ. Press
Year
2009
Pages
369 S
Isbn
978-0-8018-9143-4
Abstract
At a time when Internet use is closely tracked and social networking sites supply data for targeted advertising, Lars Heide presents the first academic study of the invention that fueled today's information revolution: the punched card. Early punched cards were first developed to process the United States census in 1890. They were soon used to calculate invoices and to issue pay slips. As demand for more sophisticated systems and reading machines increased in both the United States and Europe, punched cards were no longer a simple data-processing tool. Insurance companies, public utilities, businesses, and governments all used them to keep detailed records of their customers, competitors, employees, citizens, and enemies. The United States used punched-card registers in the late 1930s to pay roughly 21 million Americans their Social Security pensions; Vichy France used similar technologies in an attempt to mobilize an army against the occupying German forces; Germans in 1941 developed several punched-card registers to make the war effort more effective. Heide's analysis of these three major punched-card systems, as well as the impact of the invention on Great Britain, illustrates how industrial nations established administrative systems that enabled them to locate and control their citizens, for better or for worse. Heide's comparative study of the development of punched-card systems in the United States, Great Britain, France, and Germany explores how different cultures collected personal and financial data and how they adapted to new technologies. He examines this history for both its business and technological implications in today's information-dependent society. "Punched-Card Systems in the Early Information Explosion, 1880-1945" will interest students and scholars from a wide range of disciplines, including the history of technology, computer science, business history, and management and organizational studies.
Content
Inhalt: Punched cards and the 1890 United States census -- New users, new machines -- U.S. challengers to Hollerith -- The rise of international business machines -- Decline of punched cards for European census processing -- Punched cards for general statistics in Europe -- Different roads to European punched-card bookkeeping -- Keeping tabs on society with punched cards.
Footnote
Rez. in: JASIST 61(2010) no.2, S.428 (P.Ceruzzi)
Theme
Geschichte der Sacherschließung
LCSH
Punched card systems
Information technology / United States
Information technology / Europe
DDC
004/.9
LCC
HF5548 .H387 2009

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