Skip Main Navigation Skip To Navigation Content

History

You are here: Census.govHistoryFAQsInnovations FAQs › What is the connection between the U.S. Census Bureau and IBM?
Skip top of page navigation

Innovations FAQs

What is the connection between the U.S. Census Bureau and IBM?

Herman Hollerith worked for the Census Bureau during the 1880 census and then for the 1890 census, invented the electronic tabulators and punchcards that the Census Bureau used from 1890 until the 1950s. Hollerith left the Census Bureau to start the Tabulating Maching Company, which would eventually become International Business Machines (IBM).

Hollerith Machine
After developing his system of electronic tabulation (above) Hollerith formed
the Tabulating Machine Company in 1896. Though merger and acquisition, the
company he founded eventually became known as IBM.
Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress

Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Census History Staff | Last Revised: March 31, 2014