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Jacquard Loom

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The credit of introducing the Jacquard Loom, and of making it a commercial success, if not actually inventing it, belongs to Joseph Jacquard, a native of Lyons. This apparatus is one of the most ingenious and important appliances used in the art of weaving, for by its aid the most complex and intricate patterns can be produced with as much certainty and almost as rapidly as the plain cloth. The Jacquard loom is a mechanical loom, invented by Joseph Marie Jacquard, first demonstrated in 1801, that simplifies the process of manufacturing textiles with complex patterns such as brocade, damask and matelasse.The loom was controlled by a "chain of cards", a number of punched cards, laced together into a continuous sequence. Multiple rows of holes were punched on each card and each row of punched holes corresponded to one row of the design. Several such paper cards, generally white in color, can be seen in the images below. Chains, like the much later paper tape, allowed sequences of any length to be constructed, not limited by the size of a card.