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1940 census workers transferring data to punch cards

Punched on a Special Card, For retrieval by computer, information may be punched on a special card (top). A blank card is shown (bottom).

A census taker at work - Every 10 years, the Census Bureau takes a snapshot of life in our nation. We count our population while documenting living and working conditions. It's the largest and most–sophisticated national count in the world, and was mandated by our founders and enshrined in our Constitution.

Punching and verifying cards (~1971).

control data corporation 1973 by Captain Geoffrey Spaulding, via Flickr

remembering where you came from helps you determine where you're going.