Punched card

paper-based recording medium

A punched card (also punch card[1] or punched-card[2]) is a piece of card stock that stores digital data using punched holes. Punched cards were once common in data processing and the control of automated machines.

A 12-row/80-column IBM punched card from the mid-twentieth century

Punched cards were widely used in the 20th century, where unit record machines, organized into data processing systems, used punched cards for data input, output, and storage.[3][4] The IBM 12-row/80-column punched card format came to dominate the industry. Many early digital computers used punched cards as the primary medium for input of both computer programs and data.

Data can be entered onto a punched card using a keypunch.

While punched cards are now obsolete as a storage medium, as of 2012, some voting machines still used punched cards to record votes.[5] Punched cards also had a significant cultural impact in the 20th century.

Close-up of a Jacquard loom's chain, constructed using 8 × 26 hole punched cards

References

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  1. Cite error: The named reference Pinker_2007 was used but no text was provided for refs named (see the help page).
  2. Cite error: The named reference Remington_1941 was used but no text was provided for refs named (see the help page).
  3. Cite error: The named reference Cortada_1993 was used but no text was provided for refs named (see the help page).
  4. Cite error: The named reference Brooks_1963 was used but no text was provided for refs named (see the help page).
  5. Cite error: The named reference NBC_2012 was used but no text was provided for refs named (see the help page).
  1. Pinker, Steven Arthur (2007). The Stuff of Thought. Viking. p. 362. (NB. Notes the loss of -ed in pronunciation as it did in ice cream, mincemeat, and box set, formerly iced cream, minced meat, and boxed set.)
  2. "Know-How" Makes Them Great. Tabulating Machines Division, Remington Rand Inc. 1941.
  3. Cortada, James W. [at Wikidata] (1993). Before The Computer: IBM, NCR, Burroughs, & Remington Rand & The Industry They Created, 1865–1965. Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-63008-3.
  4. Brooks, Frederick Phillips; Iverson, Kenneth Eugene (1963). Automatic Data Processing. Wiley. p. 94. semiautomatic
  5. "Nightly News Aired on 2012-12-27 – Punch card voting lingers". NBC News.