Leafing through A Fortran Coloring Book (Kaufmann, MIT Press, 1978) I came across this passage, describing punch cards:-
There are twelve rows that go across each card. For reasons known only to Thomas Watson or God, the TOP row is known as the 12-edge, and the bottom row as the 9-edge.
We are further informed that Thomas Watson's will is alleged to state that he requested to be buried 9-edge down.
Aside from the intrinsic improbability of the will story, does anyone know why the edges of punch cards are named thus?