Friday, April 3, 2009

A Punch Instead of A Pen

On March 28, 1906, the Washington Times (Washington, DC) reported that the U.S. Census Office proposed to improve census-taking methods through the implementation of "A Punch Instead of a Pen" which they believed would revolutionize census-taking methods.

The article describes the technological developments in card-punch and automated tabulation machines that were occurring at that time, and the government's plans to increase speed and efficiency in data collection.

Head to the page in the newspaper featured in the Chronicling America section of the Library of Congress web site to read the entire article and the proposed punch card.

Personally, I love the cartoon of the census taker with the lady of the house. She's the spitting image of my great grandmother with her hand on her hip and her finger in his face. Being an enumerator could not have been an easy job, even with all the technological advances!

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