Emanuel Anthony Posselt The jacquard machine : analyzed and explained : with an appendix on the preparation of jacquard cards, and practical hints to learners of jacquard designing. 10x7.5 inches, 127, p.,  folded leaves of plates : ill. ; 29 cm. $1650. Rare first edition. Published under the auspices of the School [Pennsylvania Museum and School of Industrial Art] in Philadelphia, 1888. Of particular interest is the appendix, "Preparing Jacquard Cards", pp 85-102, which in effect is a description of an 18th century programmable machine.
“Extremely detaiuled description…of machines for preparing Jacquard cards, lavishly illustrated”—Randell, p. 501. (In: Brian Randell, The Computer from Pascal to von Neuman, 2nd edition, 1992).
“Particularly useful for understanding how the cards were used, often considered as an early form of machine programming”. –Cortada, #330. In: James W. Cortada, Before the Computer: IBM, NCR, Burroughs, and Remington Rand and the Industry They Created, 1865-1956. Princeton University Press, 1999.
Biographical Data for Posselt, published in 1900
Author and textile expert. Born Reichenberg, Austria August 21, 1858. Son of
Emanuel Anthony and Elizabeth (Demuth) Posselt. Graduated in 1876 from the Imperial Government Weaving Schoolof Reichenberg. Next managed his father’s mills in Reichenberg, where he got his first practical experience in textile manufacturing. Visited most important cities in Europe carrying on the manufacture of textiles. Came to the United States August 14, 1878. From that time until 1884 he was employed as a designer or supervisor in leading mills in the New England States and Pennsylvania. In 1884 he became the first director of the first successful textile school in the United States, started in Philadelphia in connection with the Pennsylvania Museum and School of Industrial Art. . In 1891, he resigned his position and accepted editorship of the Textile Record of North America, as of 1900 the foremost journal on textile manufacturing in the United States. At this time he established a private textile school as well as a book businessin textile literature. His first published work was The Jacquard Machine (4 editions as of 1900). His next and most important publication was The Technology of Textile Design (7 editions as of 1900), followed by The Structure of Fibres, Yarns and Fabrics. He also published Textile Calculations and Textile Machinery. He also published in the United States such valuable works as Wool Dyeing by Professor Gardner (written in England). He was editor for the textile department in Funk & Wagnalls’ Standard Dictionary and numerous other works. His books are the standard authorities in this country on the subjects which they treat, and have equal status in England, where they have been republished.
See the full-text pdf version of the work at:
- The Jacquard Machine Analyzed and Explained (1888) by Emanuel Anthony Posselt http://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/books/pea_jacq_1.pdf
From the library of Senator John Pastore (D-RI), (1904-1997), the first Italian-American elected to the US Senate (1950). Bound in a workman’s blue buckram—not a pretty binding by any stretch—though internally in nice condition. The binding is functional though this is a fine candidate for a nice rebinding.
"This extensively illustrated work is the most detailed published account of the design and operation of the Jacquard loom, on which Jacquard himself appears to have never published any details. It includes an excellent description of the punched cards. The book includes a brief history of the Jacquard loom, a detailed description of its mechanism and an appendix on the preparation and stamping of Jacquard cards, illustrated with pictures of the stamping machines. The punched card method of storing and processing data evolved from methods developed by textile manufacturers in the 18th and 19th centuries for weaving complex patterns in cloth." Origins of Cyberspace 355.