Math in Computing

Mechanical and Electronic Calculating Devices

How did Joseph-Marie Jacquard’s invention benefit calculating devices?

In the late-18th century, French weaver and inventor Joseph-Marie Jacquard (1752–1834) developed a practical, automatic loom that wove patterns into fabric; it was controlled by a linked sequence of punched cards. This in itself was a major advance in the production of textiles, but it would also prove to be a boon to calculating devices. Borrowing Jacquard’s idea, both Charles Babbage and Herman Hollerith (see below) would use such cards on their own computing machines. The company that Hollerith formed eventually became International Business Machines (IBM), a company that for 30 years promoted and benefited from mechanical punched card processing.


This is a web preview of the "The Handy Math Answer Book" app. Many features only work on your mobile device. If you like what you see, we hope you will consider buying. Get the App