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By 1910, Hollerith's Tabulating Machine Company (TMC), at this point still the sole provider of such equipment to commercial customers, had broadened its insurance market by responding to some of the industry's initial needs.
The next phase of the relationship between insurance firms and the tabulating industry centered on the tabulating industry's development of printing capability, on the one hand, and on insurance firms' initial attempts to integrate tabulating data with creating internal documents needed for operations, on the other.
Development of tabulator technology, however, was still critical to expanding and dominating the market for tabulating equipment, and the next major stage of tabulator development, the addition of printing capability, came not from Hollerith and his successors, but from newly emerging external competition.
The tabulating machine tabulates the number of policies, amount of insurance, annual premium, premium payable,--either annually, semi-annually or quarterly,--and deferred premium, according to the various subdivisions into which they are sorted; prints the detail of the classifications, as well as the totals, all the while recording restorations in red ink and cancellations in black ink.
61) In retrospect it is clear that Peirce, who lacked the business ability to develop his inventions, was never a serious challenger to C-T-R's insurance market; nevertheless, at this time and into the next phase of the relationship between insurance users and the tabulating industry, he continued to divert some life insurance business from C-T-R and to require attention from Hollerith's successors.
Like the rest of the British insurance industry, the Prudential had dragged its heels in introducing office technology of any sort; by the second decade of the century, however, it showed interest in punched-card tabulating.
Both Phoenix and the Travelers had switched to Hollerith equipment by 1924, and the actuary of the Travelers noted, "We did use Powers tabulating machines, until the Hollerith Automatic Control Printer came out, after which we shifted principally to that.
The practice of tabulating original records directly from punch cards is gradually becoming more common and is taking the place of former analysis of records after they were made by hand.
The next key phase in the relationship between tabulating technology and the life insurance industry was the evolution of alphabetical capabilities in the mid-1920s.
Peirce's vision of a system fully integrating all stages of information handling and document production was ahead of his mechanical and business abilities, and none of the three contracts he made for insurance tabulating systems was to be satisfactorily completed nor the machinery put into complete operation.
Meanwhile, in the continuing competition between Powers and Hollerith equipment, the Powers camp was again taking the lead from C-T-R in the practical realization of a simpler and more flexible version of alphabetical tabulating than the highly customized and integrated installations envisioned by Peirce.
In 1922, as an initial step toward addressing this threat, C-T-R bought Peirce's main engineering shop (though not the shop he had set up within Metropolitan Life for his contract work) and the rights to his patents, including some alphabetical patents, and hired Peirce himself to help the firm develop its own alphabetical tabulating machine.