Jacquard loom punch card

Jacquard loom punch card. Ca. 1801.

Although punch cards were already in use in such instruments as music boxes and earlier looms, French silk-weaver Joseph-Marie Jacquard (1752-1834) made such improvements in punch card technology with his 1801 loom that significantly more sophisticated patterns could be produced quickly through the mechanical direction of the punch card’s hole-code system.  Not only did his work transform the textile industry, but the Jacquard punch card also served as the inspiration for later calculating and tabulating innovations.

Link: Image of a Jacquard loom.