Jacquard loom - Computer Definition
An automated loom that transformed the 19th century textile industry and became the inspiration for future calculating and tabulating machines. Developed by the French silk-weaver, Joseph-Marie Jacquard (1752-1834), it used punch cards to control its operation. Although punch cards were used in earlier looms and music boxes, Jacquard's loom was a vast improvement and allowed complex patterns to be created swiftly. The loom was inspiration to Charles Babbage and, later, to Herman Hollerith who developed the first commercial punch card equipment.