Loom by Basile Bouchon

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Basile Bouchon's 1725 loom on display at the Musée des Arts et Métiers, Paris. (With thanks to Farah Mendlesohn and Mark Richards, Facebook 28Feb24).

For image: go here[1], or here [2] and "Click on a date/time to view the file [...]."

Note with photo of the loom:

Birth of the Punch Card Technology

The punch card technology was used in either a stack of cards with holes punched in it or in a roll of perforated paper tape. [3]



Basile Bouchon developed the control of a loom by punched holes in paper tape in 1725. The design was improved by his assistant Jean-Baptiste Falcon and by Jacques Vaucanson. Although these improvements controlled the patterns woven, they still required an assistant to operate the mechanism.

In 1804 Joseph Marie Jacquard demonstrated a mechanism to automate loom operation. A number of punched cards were linked into a chain of any length. Each card held the instructions for shedding (raising and lowering the warp) and selecting the shuttle for a single pass.[4]

See for background on importance for punchcards in development of computers, and for a piece of machinery as art, for which cf. and contrast UDF Jet Engine as a museum piece.



For more negative views of such devices, see Pynchon, Thomas, "Is It O.K. To Be a Luddite?" and Rebels Against the Future: The Luddites and Their War on the Industrial Revolution.

RDE, finishing, 29Feb24