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Industries – Weaving – Jacquard Harness for Powerloom

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This harness was used in the early 1900s by the students of Dunfermline’s Weaving College

Would you believe that Joseph-Marie Jacquard’s invention of the first programmable weaving loom contributed to the development of our modern day computers?

The Jacquard mechanism used pasteboard cards with punched holes, each card corresponding to one row of the design to be woven on the loom. Chains of punched cards that composed the design of the textile were strung together in order.

Each position in the card corresponded to a hook, which could be raised or stopped dependent on whether a hole is punched out of the card or not the card is solid. The hook raised or lowered the harness, which carried and guided the warp thread.

The sequence of raised and lowered threads is what created the pattern.

In 1833, Charles Babbage, an English mechanical engineer, used this same system of punch cards to invent the first ever computer. His machine was a century ahead of its time!