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Jacquard Loom

( Originally Published Early 1900's )

The Jacquard apparatus, for the purpose of pattern weaving, was invented by M. Joseph Marie Jacquard, a native of Lyons, France, in 1801. Being necessitated to carry on the weaving business of his father, for which he had a distaste, he endeavored to improve the existing machinery, and the Jacquard loom was the result. He enabled, by his invention, an ordinary work-man to produce, with comparative ease, the most beautiful patterns in a style which had only previously been accomplished by skilled labor. The reception of his great invention by the public, however, was most discouraging, for although rewarded with a small pension by Napoleon, the silk weavers offered such violent opposition to its introduction that on one occasion he narrowly escaped with his life. The machine was destroyed by the weavers on the public square of Lyons. The merit of the invention, however, was too great to admit of its being long suppressed, and when its value was once fairly recognized it effected complete revolution in the art of weaving, especially in the finer kinds of figured silk fabrics.

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