Soon I had come to a very muddled (only IMO, of course ;-) article about Swedish weaving. There I could learn that "a young Swedish man, in 1832, created Sweden's first loom".
Hmmm - "first loom" in 1832??? What on earth??? So I followed the reference link, and found that J T Munktell (who was apparently much into steam as a power source) possibly constructed Sweden's first power loom (a fact that most sources don't mention), but also constructed the first locomotive, the first threshing machine and, and... and also is (almost) the Founding Father of Volvo.
So, what have I learned today?
1. do not believe everything you read on the Internet (we may live in the back-of-beyond, but we sure had "looms" before 1832. They may all have been "foot-powered", but...)
2. Toyota is not the only modern car company that started with a loom - here you can read about J T Munktell (right column, .pdf file)
3. I will look at my old Volvo BM tractor with new eyes from now on...
(the glamour shot is copied from here - mine is a lot less, er, polished? It is from the same year (1956), possibly hasn't been washed since then... I'll spare you the "true" pic - but it looks more like the one here. Perhaps I should mention that they did renovate theirs.)
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