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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Five- and eight-hole punched paper tape
Creed model 6S/2 5-hole paper tape reader
Paper tape reader on the Harwell computer with a small piece of five-hole tape connected in a circle – creating a physical program loop
Punched tape or perforated paper tape is a form of data storage that consists of a long strip of paper in which holes are punched. It developed from and was subsequently used alongside punched cards, differing in that the tape is continuous.
Punched cards, and chains of punched cards, were used for control of looms in the 18th century. Use for telegraphy systems started in 1842. Punched tape was used throughout the 19th and for much of the 20th centuries for programmable looms, teleprinter communication, for input to computers of the 1950s and 1960s, and later as a storage medium for minicomputers and CNC machine tools. During the Second World War, high-speed punched tape systems using optical readout methods were used in code breaking systems. Punched tape was used to transmit data for manufacture of read-only memory chips.
A paper tape, constructed from punched cards, in use in a Jacquard loom. The large holes on each edge are sprocket holes, used to pull the paper tape through the loom.
Perforated paper tapes were first used by Basile Bouchon in 1725 to control looms. However, the paper tapes were expensive to create, fragile, and difficult to repair.