Hollerith tabulating machine

Updated: 05/06/2024 by Computer Hope
Hollerith tabulating machine

The Hollerith tabulating machine, also known as the tabulating machine, was an electrical counting machine invented by Herman Hollerith. It was first described in his doctoral thesis, which he presented at Columbia University in 1889.

The machine was proof of his concept that data could be encoded by holes punched in a card and thereby counted and sorted electronically. It was successful, and Hollerith went on to found the Tabulating Machine Company, which later merged to become a company called IBM.


Although tabulating machines are an early part of computer history, realize they are not considered computers. These machines only tabulated (counted), they were not programmable.

Accounting machine, Data, Electronics terms, Punch card, Tabulation