Punched card sorter, United Kingdom, 1967
Before electronic computers became widely available, other machines handled large amounts of information. This punched card sorter, consisting of two main units, organised information in different ways to analyse it accurately. For instance, the cards may be hole punched for male in one part of the card and female on another. This at least sorted the information according to sex. The main card sorter is accompanied by a painted wooden shelf unit and approximately 300 punched cards. It was made by British company International Computers and Tabulators and was used for over 20 years by statistician Ann Cartwright at the Institute for Social Studies in Medical Care. The card sorter helped analyse surveys such as attitudes towards general practice, maternity services, and the needs of the elderly. This produced health and social studies statistics.
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Glossary: card sorter
Glossary: medical statistics
Data concerning all elements of health and disease, e.g. the number of people with a certain disease.