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Type 070 vertical sorters

Type 070 Vertical Sorter

Type 070 Vertical Sorter
Manufacturing workers at IBM's plant in Endicott, N.Y., are seen here performing the final assembly of the Type 070 Vertical Sorter sometime in the late-1910s. Final assembly consists of wiring and attaching relay cabinets, completely wiring the machines and then making final adjustments. Final testing before shipment is also conducted at this stage.

The Type 070 was developed by Herman Hollerith and was one of the first machines to automatically sort and arrange punched cards in numerical sequence. It was designed to reduce the floor space required by an earlier Hollerith horizontal sorter developed for the U.S. Census Bureau. First produced around 1908, the Type 070, with a capacity of 400 cards, sorted some 250 to 270 cards per minute. It functioned by electrically sensing punched holes and mechanically moving the cards to corresponding pockets. The punched cards used at the time contained 34 or 45 columns. The Type 070 remained in use beyond the late-1920s, and one of them has been preserved in the IBM collection of historical computing devices. (VV2170)