Binary – the Jacquard Mechanism and Early Computing

The Jacquard Mechanism not only revolutionised weaving but was also hugely significant in the development of early computers and coding.  The binary system is similar to the coding that powers modern computers.

We have produced a lesson plan for Upper KS2 and KS3 students that introduces the Jacquard mechanism and how it is used on silk looms.  It then demonstrates the link between this binary mechanism and coding in computers.  Finally the students practice working in binary (instead of base 10) and use this knowledge to produce a punch card with their birth date on.

We hope that you enjoy using these materials with your students.  If you would be interested in having a member of the Education team at Macclesfield Museums come into your school to deliver the session please contact us on [email protected]



  Thanks to the IMA for funding this work.