Over the next 25 years, a revolutionary technology will transform our world. It will save us money, boost production of goods fivefold, and make our lives more comfortable.

But it will crater wages by 90%, drive whole swaths of skilled workers to starvation, destroy families, and cause wide-scale political and social upheaval, sparking mobs, riots, and armed rebellion. The year is 1804.

The invention: The Jacquard loom. The Jacquard loom is a wooden contraption that fits to the head of a regular loom.

You feed it punch cards, and it controls the weaving patterns for you. It’s efficient, cost-effective, and anyone can operate it.

No more need for well-paid cotton and silk weavers. While plunging prices of textiles made 19th-century consumers better off, skilled weavers went from comfortable three-day workweeks to being too poor to own bedding. Read more from fool.com…

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