Punched cards in a fan-shape, 1960-1980.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
These were used during the 1960s and 1970s as a common form of data input in large computer installations. The punched card was invented by the French textile manufacturer, Joseph-Marie Jacquard (1752-1834), to control weaving looms. The first data-procesing machine using punched cards was developed by the American inventor Herman Hollerith in the 1880s to asist with the 1890 US census.