Dobby Loom Program Chain

We would like to thank Mr Aram of Masson Mill for kindly donating this program chain and showing us around his Museum & Centre.

The Dobby Loom was first introduced in the mid 19th century and was programmed using a continuous chain of pegged slats. Still binary in nature, (yes + no) + (true + false). It differs from the Jacquard Loom program cards, as the chain can be reprogrammed, this can be done by taking the pegs out and repositioning them to form the new program.

You could give a very good argument for this being the first mechanical equivalent of a electronic Eprom. What do you think? It is hoped that in the new year the Museum will be getting a Dobby Loom. It’ll make an interesting crossover between the Computer Museum and the Heritage Centre! We’ll keep you posted on developments.