The Hollerith machine was invented in the 1880s by Herman Hollerith. It was invented to help count census ballots more quickly for the 1890 U.S. census; however, it was originally intended to keep track of people coming through railway transportation.
Later models of the machine were used for business applications. The company that Hollerith founded with this machine later became IBM, and his machine led to the data processing industry.
One interesting fact about the Hollerith Machine is that it functioned by punching holes in cards to record data and could process 80 punch cards.