[SIGCIS-Members] Manufacturers of Punch Cards

Pierre MOUNIER-KUHN mounier at msh-paris.fr
Thu Sep 21 07:26:41 PDT 2017

Hi Peggy, 
Thanks for this interesting announcement. I cannot answer your list of questions, yet I happen to have given a bit of attention to Punch Cards m anufacturing , and written a few pages on the topic on the other side of the Atlantic. 

Indeed the development of the Bull company, from the 1930s on, was mainly a vertical integration investment by a paper manufacturer from Savoie, Aussedat. Aussedat soon found allies in the US, struggling to curb IBM's domination of the market: Some PC machine users within the federal administration, and a paper manufacturer named Racquette River Cy . Racquette River brought a decisive technical assistance to help the French company produce punch cards up to the required standards. 
Things evolved after the 1950s, when m anufacturing punch cards became feasible for more paper makers, who entered the market, while Aussedat started to provide cards to IBM clients as well as to Bull or ICT . It remains to understand why Racquette River does not appear in your list of cards in Smithsonian collections. 

AFAIK, the history of Punch Cards has been hitherto rather neglected, apart from a few subchapters in Lars Heide's Punch Card Systems , and in the pro/con books resulting from the IBM lawsuits of the 1970s. This could be a nice topic for a further SHOT / SIGCIS session. I regret not to join you in Philadelphia next month. 

Pierre Mounier-Kuhn 

De: "Peggy Kidwell" <kidwellp at si.edu> 
À: "members" <members at sigcis.org> 
Envoyé: Jeudi 21 Septembre 2017 14:10:41 
Objet: [SIGCIS-Members] Manufacturers of Punch Cards 

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 

This email is relayed from members at sigcis.org, the email discussion list of SHOT SIGCIS. Opinions expressed here are those of the member posting and are not reviewed, edited, or endorsed by SIGCIS. The list archives are at http://lists.sigcis.org/pipermail/members-sigcis.org/ and you can change your subscription options at http://lists.sigcis.org/listinfo.cgi/members-sigcis.org 
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.sigcis.org/pipermail/members-sigcis.org/attachments/20170921/a1331692/attachment.htm>

More information about the Members mailing list