Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Jacquard's Web: How a Hand-loom Led to the Birth of the Information Age by James Essinger

Jacquard's Web tells one of the greatest untold stories of science: how Joseph-Marie Jacquard, a master silk-weaver in Napoleonic France, invented a loom that was to spark the beginning of today's information age. The revolutionary Jacquard loom could create beautiful fabrics many times faster than had previously been possible, using a system of punched cards - now rightly viewed as the world's first computer programs - to store instructions for patterns and designs. In this fascinating and engaging tale, James Essinger traces the 200-year evolution of Jacquard's idea from the studios of eighteenth-century French weavers, through the Industrial Revolution, to the information revolution of the twentieth century and to the billions of desktop computers we rely on around the world today.


Nira said...

Well said.

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