A Collection of Job Cards

A section of the Punched Card Collection

Carnegie Tech Computation Center

 [Carnegie Tech job card punch-card]

This is a classic job card from the mid 1960's, with blanks for hand-writing key information about the job, as well as pre-formatted fields for punching much of the same information and more. This card includes a blank for system-name, appropriate for an era when the computer center had several different batch systems, and the blank for a hand-written time limit supports older batch systems where resource limits were not automatically enforced.

Stanford Computation Center

 [Stanford job card punch-card]

This card appears to be from the late 1960's or early 1970's; unlike the Carnegie Tech job card, it has no fields for handwritten information. It also lacks the interesting artwork, perhaps because punched-card based batch computing was no longer seen as a high-tech symbol of institutional pride by the time this card was designed -- Stanford was, by the late 1960's, a proud pioneer of interactive time-shared computing. This card clearly labels itself as card 2 of a sequence of cards required at the head of each batch job, and it is pre-punched in columns 1 to 4 with the text "$JOB".

A very generic job card

 [Generic job card punch card]

Machine operators needed job cards to be easily distinguished from others so that they could separate jobs from each other in the output hopper of the card reader, but so long as the job card was obvious, nothing other than computer center policy required the use of any special kind of card. Some computer centers required nothing particularly special; this job card was used at the head of a FORTRAN program written by the late Lloyd Knowler, a member of the Statistics faculty at the University of Iowa. Aside from the distinctive green color, it has absolutely nothing to identify it as a job card other than the keyword "JOB" punched on the card itself,