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The Fabric of Civilization

How Textiles Made The World

Virginia Postrel

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Agostini Bassi Italian lawyer who figured out that their silkworms were being killed by a fungus. Newly invented compound microscope let him see the uresdistincti structures. Bassi recommended sterilizing tools with boiling water, using disinfectants and making staff wash hands, all years ahead of these becoming public health rules.

Louis Pasteur took Bassi's work and extended it to research and vaccines for rabies and anthrax

Jacquard's loom made complex pics possible. He built on earlier inventions that used cards or perforated paper for control. So he wasn't an inventor but a skilled craftsman who combined the best parts of previous machines, using punched cards to automatically /u> control process.

There's a famous woven image of Jacquard, about 2 feet by one foot. It required 24,000 cards, one for each row of weft, with more than a thousand holes in each. Making the cards took months, but then they could be reused on demand, of parts could be rearranged to make new patterns.

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