An automatic "programmable" textile weaving machine invented in 1804 by frenchman Joseph Marie Jaquard.

Often cited as the first use of "removable media" as data storage for a computer-like device, although arguably predated in this by raised-bumps-on-a-rotating-cylinder music boxes and simple player pianos. Using cards similar in concept to the punch-cards used in computing machines even into the middle part of the 20th century, the loom could be provided with extremely complex (in comparison with most fabrics woven by hand, or simpler automatic looms) pictorial and floral patterns. The cards had a long row of holes for each thread that was woven into the cloth, a hole allowing a needle to descend and pick up the thread at that point, a blank spot causing the thread to be covered there.

This same basic principle of "programming" the path of each thread is still used in modern designs for more advanced versions of Jaquard's loom, and large pictorial carpets and tapestries, as well as other patterned cloth, continues to be made on Jaquard-derivative machinery.

The original machines according to Jaquard's design were very large and expensive to construct and maintain, and Jaquard himself never profited directly from his invention, but was saved from utter poverty by a state allowance granted by Napoleon Bonaparte provided that Jaquard turn over his patents to the city of Lyons, where there were several thousand looms of his design in operation by the time of his death.

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