The IBM Punched Card
From the beginning of tabulation, stiff rectangular cards punched with holes became the way data was recorded and stored.
As IBM grew to dominate data processing by the 1920s, its cards—which only worked on IBM machines and vice-versa—became the global industry standard.
In 1928, IBM improved on the cards’ design so more data could be stored on a single card.
From the 1950s through about 1970, IBM punched cards were the primary way corporations and governments stored and accessed information, making the cards the most durable, successful data storage medium since the book.