Figure 1-15. Babbage's Analytical Engine, conceived to "weave algebraic
pattern as Jacquard's loom weaves flowers."
Section III. ELECTROMECHANICAL PHASE
pulleys. But they were generally unreliable, bulky, heavy, and slow. And so, by the
post-Civil War era, record keeping and computing in the United States (US) continued
to be largely manual, with pen, pencil, ruler, worksheet, and ledger still the primary
tools. Less than one percent of record keeping was machine assisted. The gap
between volume of information and available methods of capturing data was so great
that the 1880 census took 10 years to complete. It was finally completed in 1890, in
time for the 1890 census! This state of affairs gave the impetus for the development of
electromechanical: composed of both electrical and mechanical parts.
1-12. HOLLERITH'S PUNCH CARD-CONTROLLED CENSUS MACHINE (1890)
a. The Need for Automation. The excessive time required for the 1880 census
placed Congress in violation of its own laws. By law, Congressional seats were
supposed to be reapportioned every 10 years, based on census results. Therefore, the
Census Bureau commissioned Herman Hollerith, an engineer and statistician, to design
a machine that would automate the 1890 census.