Jacquard's Web: How a Hand-Loom Led to the Birth of the Information Age

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9780192805782: Jacquard's Web: How a Hand-Loom Led to the Birth of the Information Age
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Circuits from silk? Today's technophiles probably have no idea how much today's computer technology owes to the invention of one ingenuous textile manufacturer in nineteenth-century France. Here, master storyteller James Essinger shows through a series of remarkable and meticulously researched historical connections how the Jacquard loom kick-started a process of scientific evolution which would lead directly to the development of the modern computer.
Jacquard's 1804 invention, a loom which used punch cards with stored instructions for weaving different patterns and designs, enabled the master silk-weavers of Lyons to weave fabrics 25 times faster than the competition. Here, Essinger reveals the plethora of extraordinary links between that innovation in weaving and today's computer age, introducing us to the intriguing and colorful people who paved the way. The book concludes by bringing the story completely up-to-date with the latest developments in the World Wide Web and the fascinating phenomenon of artificial intelligence.
Attractively illustrated and compellingly narrated, Jacquard's Web presents an eye-opening and scarcely known history that will prove fascinating to readers of popular science, especially those interested in the history of science, technology, and computing, as well as professional scientists, historians, and students.

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About the Author:


James Essinger is a writer with a particular interest in the history of ideas that have had a practical impact on the modern world. He is currently working on a novel about Charles Babbage and Ada Lovelace and on a popular history of the written word.

Review:


"With wit and imagination, Essinger has woven a marvelous tapestry celebrating this rugs-to-riches story and the unlikely birth of the information age."--Entertainment Weekly


"Jacquard's Web is more than the biography of a man and his machine. Mr. Essinger moves from the Industrial Age to the Information Age, connecting the loom, step by step, to the Harvard Mark I, the first proper computer, presented to the public in 1944....Essinger tells his story with passion and with a gracious willingness to help the lay reader grasp the intricacies of technology."--Wall Street Journal


"Essinger does more than weave together science, history, and business: he sheds light on the nature of innovation....His book deftly shows how even the most surprising breakthroughs are based on the work of others, and need a host of enabling factors to take root. Without the appropriate financial, technological, and cultural factors, no inventor, regardless of passion, can harvest his brilliant machine....His tale of cultural, economic, and personal factors that enable ideas to become real tools makes this book a welcome addition to the literature of innovation."--Tom Ehrenfeld, The Boston Globe


"Anyone who enjoyed Tom Standage's book on automata, The Mechanical Turk, will probably enjoy Jacquard's Web."--New Scientist


"An original perspective...the thread that runs through it--the relation of everything that has come since to the principle of the Jacquard loom--quite compelling."--Walter Gratzer, King's College London


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9780192805775: Jacquard's Web: How a Hand-Loom Led to the Birth of the Information Age

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Book Description Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 2007. Paperback. Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.Jacquard s Web is the story of some of the most ingenious inventors the world has ever known, a fascinating account of how a hand-loom invented in Napoleonic France led to the development of the modern information age. James Essinger, a master story-teller, shows through a series of remarkable and meticulously researched historical connections (spanning two centuries and never investigated before) that the Jacquard loom kick-started a process of scientific evolution which would lead directly to the development of the modern computer. The invention of Jacquard s loom in 1804 enabled the master silk-weavers of Lyons to weave fabrics 25 times faster than had previously been possible. The device used punched cards, which stored instructions for weaving whatever pattern or design was required; it proved an outstanding success. These cards can very reasonably be described as the world s first computer programmes. In this engaging and delightful book, James Essinger reveals a plethora of extraordinary links between the nineteenth-century world of weaving and today s computer age: to give just one example, modern computer graphics displays are based on exactly the same principles as those employed in Jacquard s special woven tableaux. Jacquard s Web also introduces some of the most colourful and interesting characters in the history of science and technology: the modest but exceptionally dedicated Jacquard himself, the brilliant but temperamental Victorian polymath Charles Babbage, who dreamt of a cogwheel computer operated using Jacquard cards, and the imaginative and perceptive Ada Lovelace, Lord Byron s only legitimate daughter. Seller Inventory # AAV9780192805782

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Book Description Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 2007. Paperback. Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. Jacquard s Web is the story of some of the most ingenious inventors the world has ever known, a fascinating account of how a hand-loom invented in Napoleonic France led to the development of the modern information age. James Essinger, a master story-teller, shows through a series of remarkable and meticulously researched historical connections (spanning two centuries and never investigated before) that the Jacquard loom kick-started a process of scientific evolution which would lead directly to the development of the modern computer. The invention of Jacquard s loom in 1804 enabled the master silk-weavers of Lyons to weave fabrics 25 times faster than had previously been possible. The device used punched cards, which stored instructions for weaving whatever pattern or design was required; it proved an outstanding success. These cards can very reasonably be described as the world s first computer programmes. In this engaging and delightful book, James Essinger reveals a plethora of extraordinary links between the nineteenth-century world of weaving and today s computer age: to give just one example, modern computer graphics displays are based on exactly the same principles as those employed in Jacquard s special woven tableaux. Jacquard s Web also introduces some of the most colourful and interesting characters in the history of science and technology: the modest but exceptionally dedicated Jacquard himself, the brilliant but temperamental Victorian polymath Charles Babbage, who dreamt of a cogwheel computer operated using Jacquard cards, and the imaginative and perceptive Ada Lovelace, Lord Byron s only legitimate daughter. Seller Inventory # AAV9780192805782

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Book Description Oxford University Press, USA 4/1/2007, 2007. Paperback or Softback. Condition: New. Jacquard's Web: How a Hand-Loom Led to the Birth of the Information Age. Book. Seller Inventory # BBS-9780192805782

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Book Description Oxford University Press, USA. Paperback. Condition: New. 320 pages. Dimensions: 7.6in. x 5.0in. x 0.9in.Circuits from silk Todays technophiles probably have no idea how much todays computer technology owes to the invention of one ingenuous textile manufacturer in nineteenth-century France. Here, master storyteller James Essinger shows through a series of remarkable and meticulously researched historical connections how the Jacquard loom kick-started a process of scientific evolution which would lead directly to the development of the modern computer. Jacquards 1804 invention, a loom which used punch cards with stored instructions for weaving different patterns and designs, enabled the master silk-weavers of Lyons to weave fabrics 25 times faster than the competition. Here, Essinger reveals the plethora of extraordinary links between that innovation in weaving and todays computer age, introducing us to the intriguing and colorful people who paved the way. The book concludes by bringing the story completely up-to-date with the latest developments in the World Wide Web and the fascinating phenomenon of artificial intelligence. Attractively illustrated and compellingly narrated, Jacquards Web presents an eye-opening and scarcely known history that will prove fascinating to readers of popular science, especially those interested in the history of science, technology, and computing, as well as professional scientists, historians, and students. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Seller Inventory # 9780192805782

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Book Description Oxford Univ Pr, 2007. Paperback. Condition: Brand New. reprint edition. 302 pages. 7.75x4.75x0.75 inches. In Stock. Seller Inventory # __0192805789

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