THE HARVARD CRIMSON - Feb 15 - In 1965, two Harvard students (Jeffrey C. Tarr and Vaughan Morrill) created the very first computer-based matchmaking service in the United States. They called it Operation Match. To enter, its clients filled out a paper survey with 75 questions about themselves and the same 75 questions about their date's ideal characteristics. They would then mail their answer sheet to Cambridge along with a $3 fee. Their answers would be recorded on punch cards and run through a room-sized IBM 1401 computer. Three weeks later, the clients would receive a sheet of paper with the names and contact information of their top six matches. The questions weren't scientifically designed. The founders sat down, thought about their own dating criteria, and just wrote them. The service quickly became popular, not only on Harvard's campus and around Boston, but at schools around the country. Soon after Tarr and Crump graduated, Operation Match's novelty faded. "Because of the Vietnam War, if I dropped out of college [to focus on the company], I would have probably been drafted," says Tarr. "And so, we sold it in two pieces for very little money."
by Alicia M. Chen
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