Punched Cards with Logos

Part of the Punched Card Collection
by Douglas W. Jones
THE UNIVERSITY OF IOWA Department of Computer Science

American National Bank

 [American National Bank punched card]

This card for the American National Bank of Cheyenne Wyoming is a nice example of corporate artwork that almost works with the punched card overprint but not quite. The problem is, the fine detail in the eagle logo is almost completely lost, so that the eagle becomes nothing but a grey trapezoid. A high resolution scan is available.

Bell Telephone Laboratories GE 600

 [Bell Labs punched card]

This card, probably designed in October 1965 (judging by the notation "10-65" printed on the left edge), was printed for use with the GE 600 series computers at Bell Labs.

The version of the Bell logo on this card predates the great modernization of american corporate logos in the late 1960's; although it is considerably simplified from earlier versions of the Bell logo.

 [Bell Labs punched card]

This card, probably designed in December 1971 (judging by the notation "12-71" printed on the left edge), was printed for use with the same computers, and serves to illustrate the new modernized Bell System logo. The card has also been simplified by eliminating the self interpreting features of the older card. A high resolution scan is available.

A Burlington Northern Detail Card

 [Burlington Northern Railroad Card]

The Burlington Northern began operation in 1970, when use of punched-cards was the expected tool for data processing. The Burlington-Northern logo on this card is an excellent example of a modernized corporate logo from the that era, although one of its predecessors, the Chicago-Burlington and Quincy Railroad, had used a modern style of logo for most of the past century. Today, the modern logo of the BNSF railroad is something of a retro design, harking back to the old Santa-Fe railroad logo. A high resolution scan is available.

CERN

 [CERN punched card]

CERN originally stood for le Centre Européenne pour la Recherche Nucléaire, or the European Center for Nuclear Research. The CERN laboratory spans the Swiss-French border just east of Geneva Switzerland; the logo is based on the plan view of the proton synchroton that was the laboratory's original research tool. CERN has long been a major user of computers and supercomputers, and Tim Breners-Lee was on the staff at CERN when he developed the World Wide Web. This card is printed with minimal layout aids for the formatting of FORTRAN programs, plus extra guidelines every ten columns suggesting a generic tabular data layout. The pattern punched on this particular card, a 6-7-8-9 multipunch in column 1, was used as an end-of-file-mark under the operating systems for the CDC 6600. A high resolution scan is available.

University of Chicago Computation Center

 [University of Chicago punched card]

The University of Chicago logo is surprisingly well presented on this card, despite the overprinting of punch positions. Most logos with this kind of fine-line detail get lost in such overprints. The card itself has field positions for the assembly language of the IBM 709x family of machines, and it contains, in the sequence number field (columns 72-80) a tabular presentation of the character code, although not as convenient as the Bell Labs self-interpreting card shown above. A high resolution scan is available.

Burroughs Corporation

 [Burroughs/Gardner-Denver punched card]

Burroughs certainly used Gardner-Denver semi-automatic wire-wrap machines to build their own mainframes of the late 1960's, and they probably sold wire-wrap systems, either software or software plus controller plus machine, to others. This card was either for internal use or was sold as part of a package to those who bought Gardner-Denver machines with Burroughs controllers or support software. In any case, the big B burroughs logo is prominently displayed!

Carnegie Institute of Technology

 [Carnegie Tech punched card]

This Job card from the mid 1960's contains a striking rendition of the classic Carnegie Tech seal, rendered in a somewhat faded halftone in the space reserved for comments. The great modernization hit at about the same time that Carnegie Tech became Carnegie-Mellon University, so as Tech became Mellon, the new generation of cards bore modernized artwork.

 [Carnegie Tech punched card]

This IPL V card matches the above job card. These cards were both used with the Bendix G 20 system that was, through the mid 1960's, the workhorse computer in the Carnegie Tech computing center. A high resolution scan is available.

Carnegie Mellon University

 [Carnegie Mellon University punched card]

When Carnegie Tech merged with the Mellon Institute to create Carnegie-Mellon University, the grand turn of the century Carnegie Seal was replaced with a very modern three-letter monogram. This monogram is presented here in a way that lends itself to a low-density halftone overprint over the numbering on the face of the card; fine detail does not lend itself nearly as well to such an overprint. These cards were used primarily with the Univac 1108 and for batch jobs on the IBM 360/67; the latter was one of the very few IBM 360 systems to run the TSS/360 timesharing operating system. Most customers who had ordered 360/67 systems running TSS/360 were eventually talked into accepting 360/65 systems running the inferior TSO operating system. A high resolution scan is available.

Collins Radio Company Data Center

 [Collins Radio Company punched card]

Collins Radio Company, of Cedar Rapids Iowa, has been a major defense contractor since World War II. Prior to the 1970's, it was also a major manufacturer of equipment for the amature or ham radio market. In the early 1970's, it became the Collins Avionics Group of divisions of Rockwell International, and in the early 2000's, it was spun off as Rockwell Collins Corporation. This card carries the classical Collins logo, a nice example of an early modern corporate logo that integrates very well with the standard printing on the face of the card. A high resolution scan is available.

A Dubna Nuclear Research Instutite Calendar

 [Dubna Nuclear Research Institute punched card]

This card from the latter years of the Soviet Union is imprinted with the logo of the nuclear research institute at Dubna, a suburb of Moscow. The logo is based on the building housing one of the institute's particle accelerators, surrounded by the stylized electron orbits of the Bohr atom, a common symbol for atomic research. The calendar printed on this card makes it clear that the card was distributed as a souvenier; distributing souvenier punched cards was a common way of advertising that an institute was on the cutting edge of high technology; this remained true even when cards had become nearly obsolete because of the strong association in the public mind between cards, computers and modernity.

Iowa State University Computation Center

 [Iowa State University punched card]

Most institutions were content to print either their name or their logo on a card, but some cards featured both. Iowa State is famous as the home of the Atasanoff-Berry Computer, the first vacuum-tube digital calculator. It is strange that they were willing to sacrifice the numbering of the 9's row on the card, yet were unwilling to clear the clutter from their institutional seal. A high resolution scan is available.

The notation DD-N12945 in very small print below columns 9 to 13 of the card indicates that the card was manufactured by Data Documents Inc., an Omaha-based supplier of business forms, time cards and similar materials.

Kitt Peak National Observatory

 [Kitt Peak National Observatory punched card]

Most institutions were content to print either their name or their logo on a card, but some cards featured both. Kitt Peak chose to clear most of the card to ensure that their tastefully assymetrical artwork would not be obscured. A high resolution scan is available.

University of Maryland Computer Science Center

 [University of Maryland punched card]

Most cards with institutional logos on them are based on symmetrical designs, with the logo centered on the card. A few institutions such as Maryland opted to make a statement with an assymetrical design. In this example, Maryland has also boldly gone where few others have gone before, putting the colored stripe across the bottom of the card and adding a second stripe to highlight the institutional name! A high resolution scan is available.

McMaster University

 [McMaster University Punched Card]

McMaster's off-center design incorporates a subtle feature in that the artwork leaves columns 1 to 72 uncluttered; this conforms to the FORTRAN convention that columns 73-80 are not used in program decks, so the logo artwork does not distract from the interpretation of FORTRAN code. A high resolution scan is available.

Michigan Tech

 [Michigan Tech Punched Card]

Universities frequently put their football mascot on their punched cards. The Michigan Tech huskie is a well designed example of such a card, although the fine detail in the huskie's fur would have looked better if they'd cut out the numbers from the area where the logo is printed. A high resolution scan is available.

MIT Information Processing Center

 [MIT punched card]

This card is relatively ugly because the fine detail of the logo is on the same order of scale as the numbering on the face of the card. Perhaps it was printed as a stopgap measure while awaiting the completion of the redesign of MIT's university seal, an effort that was part of the great modernization of american corporate logos in the late 1960's.

Princeton University Computer Center

 [Princeton University punched card]

This general purpose card tastefully displays the University name and heraldic emblem.

 [Princeton University Punched Card]

This job card from Princeton works the university name and emblem into an otherwise standard IBM OS/360 job card. A high resolution scan is available.

International Brotherhood of Teamsters

 [Teamsters union punched card]

This general purpose card presents a classic union emblem and name, making it clear that the trade union movement was as involved in automation to the same extent as the other large institutions of the mid 20th century. A high resolution scan is available.

The notation DD-F17405 in very small print below columns 12 to 15 of the card indicates that the card was manufactured by Data Documents Inc., an Omaha-based supplier of business forms, time cards and similar materials.

Washington University of Saint Louis Computing Facilities

 [Washington University of St. Louis punched card]

This general purpose card integrates the heraldic shield of the university into the card very cleanly. A high resolution scan is available.

The notation DD-L 12024-R1 in very small print below columns 16 to 21 of the card indicates that the card was manufactured by Data Documents Inc., an Omaha-based supplier of business forms, time cards and similar materials.