A device that enabled punch card operators to determine if a column in a large deck of cards (data records) was punched with the same code (same hole). If a card deck only an inch or so thick was held to the light, one could see through the holes; however, a four or five-inch deck of cards required the needle. The only other method was to break up the deck into smaller chunks or wire a tabulating machine plugboard and print the contents. The needle was quicker. See punch card.