US CENSUS BUREAU / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY US CENSUS BUREAU / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Punch card sorting for 1930 US Census. Machine being used to sorting punch cards electronically for the 1930 US Census. Card sorters read portions of each card that passed through them and routed the cards to separate bins or pockets according to the data contained on the card. For example, the sorter could be 'programmed' to read those columns on the card that indicate age and sort each card into bins corresponding to a pre-set age category. At the time, these machines were the latest in a series of machines used to record and collate census data, ranging from mechanical sorters and tabulators, through to modern electronic computers.
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