Electric Jacquard loom

#Picture Number ST240

Your download illustration: a standard jpeg greyscale image file (around 3mb) see about for more details.

Victorian illustration to download showing an electric Jacquard loom invented by Gaetano Bonelli, active in the Italian silk industry in the 1850s. In a standard Jacquard loom, used for weaving fabrics with complex patterns, the warp threads were controlled using a system of punched cards – a complex pattern could need many thousands of these. In Bonelli’s electric loom, the pattern was painted on a revolving tinfoil band using black varnish, which was a non-conductor. Electro-magnets became active or inactive according to the pattern as the band revolved, and they were connected to hooks which controlled the warp threads. Punched cards were expensive, time-consuming and labour-intensive, so Bonelli’s machine saved time and money.