Daily readings about people, places, and events in American history.
Having trouble viewing this email? View the web version.
June 8th
From Punch Cards to Microchips
On June 8, 1887, a former Census Bureau employee named Herman Hollerith filed a patent for a “novel sorting device” he had devised as part of an “apparatus for compiling statistics.” His name is not as famous as it used to be, but Hollerith was one in a string of American inventors who ushered in the computer age. His machine used punch cards – cards with rows of holes representing information – to quickly tabulate statistics for millions of pieces of data.

Before Hollerith’s time it took the Census Bureau eight years to sort through information collected in its once-a-decade census. Hollerith’s system allowed workers to tally the 1890 population in just six weeks and publish refined data in a mere two years. “The apparatus works as unerringly as the mills of the gods, but beats them hollow as to speed,” one expert marveled. Hollerith’s Tabulating Machine Company later merged with two other companies to form the corporation known today as International Business Machines – IBM.

In June 1951 the world’s first commercial computer was put into service at the Census Bureau. The UNIVAC I (Universal Automatic Computer I) was built by the Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation. The next year, another UNIVAC machine astounded TV viewers when it accurately predicted that Dwight D. Eisenhower would win the 1952 presidential election.

In June 1977, Apple Computer, Inc., began selling the Apple II, the first widely successful personal computer. Apple was the brainchild of Stephen Wozniak and his friend Steve Jobs, who sold his Volkswagen minibus to help fund the company started in his parents’ garage. By the early 1980s, microchips in the first generation of personal computers could perform close to 5 million operations per second, compared to the room-size UNIVAC’s 1,900.

American History Parade
1789
In the House of Representatives, James Madison introduces proposed amendments to the Constitution that eventually become the Bill of Rights.

1861
Tennessee secedes from the Union.

1887
Herman Hollerith patents his punch-card calculator.

1948
Texaco Star Theater, one of TV’s first hit shows, debuts with Milton Berle as host.

1982
In the first address by a president to a joint session of the British Parliament, Ronald Reagan predicts that Communism will end up “on the ash heap of history.”
This content is courtesy of The American Patriot's Almanac
© 2008, 2010 by William J. Bennett and John T.E. Cribb
SUBSCRIPTION INFO

This newsletter is never sent unsolicited. It is only sent to people who signed on the Salem National network OR a friend might have forwarded it to you. We respect and value your time and privacy.

Update your Email Preferences or UNSUBSCRIBE from the American Patriot's Daily Almanac.

OR Send postal mail to:
American Patriot's Daily Almanac Unsubscribe
6400 N. Belt Line Rd., Suite 200, Irving, TX 75063

Were you forwarded this edition of the America Patriot's Daily Almanac?
You can get your own free subscription by clicking here

Copyright © 2022 Salem National, Salem Media Group and its Content Providers.
All rights reserved.
[-OPEN_PIXEL_HERE-]