04 MayWho Knew?

The computer & loom are related.

In 1740 Jacques de Vaucanson first used punch cards to control a loom. Later in 1801, Joseph-Marie Jacquard further developed this idea and simplified the automatic loom through a system of perforated cards.

His father was a weaver, and his invention simplified complex treadling sequences. His Jacquard loom became the precursor to the computer. The holes in the cards controlled which shed rose in a particular pattern sequence – similar to the system of punch cards in early computers.

With the invention of the automated Jacquard loom, came the threat of unemployment. The silk weavers threatened Jacquard with death, and his looms were sold as junk.

In the early 1800’s Charles Babbage invented a steam driven machine to calculate numbers. Later Ada Lovelace thought to use punch cards to drive Babbage’s engine, after seeing the Jacquard loom.

And here we are today. Huh.

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