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(born July 7, 1752, Lyon, Fr.died Aug. 7, 1834, Oullins) French inventor. In 1801 he demonstrated an automatic loom incorporating revolutionary new technology; it was declared public property in 1806, and Jacquard was rewarded with a pension and a royalty on each machine. His loom utilized interchangeable punched cards that controlled the weaving of the cloth so that any desired pattern could be obtained automatically. The Jacquard loom's technology became the basis of the modern automatic loom and a precursor of the modern computer. His punched cards were adapted by Charles Babbage as an input/output medium for his proposed analytical engine and by Herman Hollerith to feed data to his census machine, and punched cards were used for inputting data into early digital computers.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Jacquard, Joseph-Marie, visit Britannica.com.
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