Punched Card Piracy

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Jacquard's loom revolutionized the weaving industry in France during the nineteenth century. Master weavers and skilled tradespeople spent long hours creating elaborate patterns and designs for silk cloth, which could then be transferred to the looms' punched cards. Because of the effort involved, the cards themselves became a highly- prized commodity. Reports of theft at textile mills increased, as the cards were stolen by competing mills.