[SIGCIS-Members] Manufacturers of Punch Cards

Kidwell, Peggy kidwellp at si.edu
Thu Sep 21 05:10:41 PDT 2017

I write in preparation for next month's meeting in Philadelphia.  Those of you staying late will be able to hear about punch cards, particularly punch cards in the Smithsonian collections, as symbols of the spread of computing from the nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century. This is the result of a cataloging project based on looking at eighty-odd punch cards and groups of punch cards in Smithsonian mathematics and computer collections (as well as one from textiles).  A small matter that interests me is who actually made and/or distributed the cards. Sometimes this was a manufacturer like IBM or Remington Rand UNIVAC. At other times, businesses seem to have specialized in printing punch cards - or at least distributing them. At present, I'm still mystified as to who made/distributed the punch cards listed below, and would welcome identifications:

1.       A punch card marked ISC 5081. This isn't the IBM card by that name, though It looks like it.
2.       Another IBM clone, the MIDCO C-5081.
3.       The Pryor 5280
4.       The NECS/WIC-282
5.       The ths 942/3/2367 - this was designed for use in Stockholm
6.       A card designed for use at the University of Wisconsin with the name OEI M73926 - we also have a punch card with number OEI E19618 used at the DeVry Institute of Technology in Chicago
7.       SDC A1004 punch cards - used in Canada
8.       BP-16309 BSC punch cards

Many thanks!

Peggy Kidwell
Curator of Mathematics
National Museum of American History
Smithsonian Institution

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