I was watching this excellent BBC documentary on entropy and information that just happens to include a section on the 18th century jacquard loom (one of the first "information technologies"). Very cool video. Jacquard looms were able to produce insanely detailed fabrics for their day, almost as precise as pixels. The section on jacquard looms starts around the 9:30 mark in the video below Punch cards: The same principles go into the production of jacquard fabrics that Turnbull & Asser uses today: http://store.turnbullandasser.co.uk/Materials_and_styling/Jacquard_Weave.html Pierce Brosnan's Turnbull & Asser tie. Don't know if this is technically the same kind of jacquard. This loomed portrait of Jacquard would later be referred to as "The Most Famous Image in the Early History of Computing." It took 27,000 punch cardsto make. Ridiculously complex Punch cards would later provide input for the first programmable computer, ENIAC So there you have it, a link between classical menswear and computer history!