• 1899 April 29
    (b.) -
    1945 February 14


An Austrian pioneer of Information technology, he developed numerous improvements for punched card-based calculating machines from 1922 to 1945. During the years 1926 ? 1930 he worked for the Rheinische Metallwaren- und Maschinenfabrik (Rheinmetall) in S?mmerda, Germany, where he developed a complete punched card-based accounting system, which was never mass-produced. The prototype of that system is currently stored in the archives of the Vienna Technical Museum. In the spring of 1928, Rheinmetall created a subsidiary company that was assigned to develop new punched card-based machines. In the fall of the same year, the subsidiary was bought by IBM, thereby assuring its monopoly on the market. He was awarded a five-year contract and sold 169 patents to IBM in his life-time. In 1929, he obtained a patent on OCR in Germany, followed by Paul W. Handel who obtained a US patent on OCR in the USA in 1933. In 1935 he was also granted a US patent on his method (U.S. Patent 2,026,329). His machine was a mechanical device that used templates and a photodetector. Optical character recognition, usually abbreviated to OCR, is the mechanical or electronic translation of scanned images of handwritten, typewritten or printed text into machine-encoded text. It is widely used to convert books and documents into electronic files, to computerize a record-keeping system in an office, or to publish the text on a website. OCR makes it possible to edit the text, search for a word or phrase, store it more compactly, display or print a copy free of scanning artifacts, and apply techniques such as machine translation, text-to-speech and text mining to it. OCR is a field of research in pattern recognition, artificial intelligence and computer vision. Among his publications are: Martin Helfert, Petra Mazuran, Christoph M. Wintersteiger: ?Gustav Tauschek und seine Maschinen?, Linz: Trauner, 2007, in German. (Schriftenreihe Geschichte der Naturwissenschaften und der Technik; Bd. 10) ISBN 978-3-85499-062-8; and Martin Helfert, Christoph M. Wintersteiger: ?Gustav Tauschek's Punchcard Accounting Machines?, Proceedings of the Workshop on Methodic and Didactic Challenges of the History of Informatics (MEDICHI 2007), OCG 220, Austrian Computer Society, 2007.
  • Date of Birth:

    1899 April 29
  • Date of Death:

    1945 February 14
  • Gender:

  • Noted For:

    Developer of numerous improvements for punched card-based calculating machines
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