<- Virtual Exhibitions in Informatics

Punched Tape

a roll of punched tape

Punched tape consistsof a long strip of paper in which holes are punched to store data.

The earliest forms of punched tape come from weaving looms and embroidery, where cards with simple instructions about a machine's intended movements were first fed individually as instructions, then controlled by instruction cards, and later were fed as a string of connected cards.

Joseph Weizenbaum with a punched tape

This led to the concept of communicating data not as a stream of individual cards, but one "continuous card", or a tape. Many professional embroidery operations still refer to those individuals who create the designs and machine patterns as "punchers", even though punched cards and paper tape were eventually phased out, after many years of use, in the 1990s.

In 1846 Alexander Bain used punched tape to send telegrams.

Related topics:
Punch card