US CENSUS BUREAU / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY US CENSUS BUREAU / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Tabulator and sorter for 1900 US Census. Hollerith tabulator (left) and sorter (right) as used in the 1900 US Census. In 1888, the US Census Bureau held a competition to find a more efficient method to process and tabulate data. Three contestants accepted the challenge and former Census Bureau employee Herman Hollerith won. He was awarded a contract to process and tabulate the 1890 census data. The Census Bureau used versions of the Hollerith tabulators and sorters from 1890 until replaced by computers in the 1950s. After sorting, the tabulator displayed data 'read' from punch cards on the tabulation dials.
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