February 28, 2008 cameron

Napoleon invented the computer?

Well, not quite, but listener Arni Sigurdsson from Iceland found this website which explains how Napoleon was important to the development of the modern computer. According to the site:

Napoleon’s troops in Egypt buy shawls and start a fashion craze.

In Europe the shawls get made on automated, perforated-paper control looms.

This gives an American engineer Herman Hollerith the idea to automate calculation using punch cards.

Which get used to control ENIAC, the first electronic computer!

Thanks for the link Arni, fascinating!

Comments (3)

  1. Jerry

    Hello David and Cameron,
    Found Napoleon 101 last week and started listening. Love the show! You guys do a great job! Good luck on the new podcast. I look forward to listening to it also. Thanks for the entertainment!!

  2. Frelt

    By extension Napoleon also invented the internet.

    Wonder how many foreigners will get that joke…

  3. Antonio

    Maybe Napoleon predicted global warming too.

    Lisbon, Portigal

    PS: Frelt – Hey I got that joke! lol

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