Memorabilia Monday: Punch Card Printing Plate


This item from Russ Pitman ’58 is a punch card printing plate re-fashioned into a pencil holder.

The punch card is from the Rice Alumni Association. It gathered donor data, such as name, donation amount, class, degree, and status.

Does anyone else have a similar item?

2 thoughts on “Memorabilia Monday: Punch Card Printing Plate

  1. My IBM manager collected these card-printing plates and gave me one. (I don’t recall the customer’s name on mine.)

    From this online history webpage for IBM’s Supplies Division/1958-66, (, here are some punch card manufacturing milestones:

    IBM’s made (and printed) its punch cards in plants located in Washington, D.C.; Greencastle, Ind.; Endicott, N.Y. (since 1923); and San Jose, Calif. (since 1943: … and in 1958 added new plants in Sherman, Tex. and Dayton, N.J.; broke ground for another plant at Concord, Mass.; and acquired land in Campbell, Calif., for the future relocation of the nearby San Jose facility. The Concord plant opened in January 1959 and the Campbell was up and running in July 1960.

    Also in in 1960, the division opened a new card design center in Houston, Tex., and five new warehouses in Omaha, Neb.; Des Moines, Iowa; St. Louis, Mo.; Syracuse, N.Y.; and Rochester, Minn. “As a result, punched card users could discuss their more intricate card design requirements with IBM experts at 19 U.S. locations and receive prompt deliveries from a nationwide network of 21 IBM card manufacturing plants and warehouses.”

    Card manufacturing at Endicott was phased out in April 1961 and a card manufacturing facility in Minneapolis opened in August 1964. IBM card plants were producing billions of punched cards a year.

    On Dec. 1, 1964, IBM adopted round corners as a regular feature on IBM general purpose punched cards on. Virtually all punched cards had been manufactured with square corners since 1890!

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