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- DescriptionAt a time when Internet use is closely tracked and social networking sites supply data for targeted advertising, Lars Heide presents the first academic study of the invention that fueled today's information revolution: the punched card. Early punched cards helped to process the United States census in 1890. They soon proved useful in calculating invoices and issuing pay slips. As demand for more sophisticated systems and reading machines increased in both the United States and Europe, punched cards served ever-larger data-processing purposes. Insurance companies, public utilities, businesses, and governments all used them to keep detailed records of their customers, competitors, employees, citizens, and enemies. The United States used punched-card registers in the late 1930s to pay roughly 21 million Americans their Social Security pensions, Vichy France used similar techlogies in an attempt to mobilize an army against the occupying German forces, and the Germans in 1941 developed several punched-card registers to make the war effort-and surveillance of mirities-more effective. Heide's analysis of these three major punched-card systems, as well as the impact of the invention on Great Britain, illustrates how different cultures collected personal and financial data and how they adapted to new techlogies. This comparative study will interest students and scholars from a wide range of disciplines, including the history of techlogy, computer science, business history, and management and organizational studies.
- Author BiographyLars Heide is an associate professor at the Centre for Business History at Copenhagen Business School.
- Author(s)Lars Heide
- PublisherJohns Hopkins University Press
- Date of Publication15/05/2009
- SubjectTechnology: General & Reference
- Series TitleStudies in Industry and Society
- Place of PublicationBaltimore, MD
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintJohns Hopkins University Press
- Content Note36, 21 black & white halftones, 15 black & white line drawings
- Weight635 g
- Width152 mm
- Height229 mm
- Spine29 mm
- Interest AgeFrom 17
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