The binary principle embodied in the punched-card operation of the loom was inspiration for the data processing machines to come. (Image courtesy of The Computer History Museum, www.computerhistory.org)
A weaver adjusts a Jacquard loom/Corbis. If you look at the top of the picture you'll see the holes that are punched in cards. Those are the patterns.
Jacquard loom. Think of the hours that people put into making fabric before the industrial revolution. Such an amazing thing.