Punch Cards Follow The Razor Blade Model
Punch cards, sold in stacks of 1,000 cards, were a big money maker for IBM. Cards might store all data related to a particular employee or customer. The Carroll Press of the 1920s, shown here, enabled IBM to cut and print 460 cards per minute, per machine. IBM agreed to give up much of its card-making capacity in 1956 as part of a Consent Decree agreement with the Justice Department (the first of two major anti-trust investigations of the company). By this time, however, Tom Watson Jr., who signed the decree, knew that storage technologies would soon move beyond punch cards.