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The Agricultural Revolution Index

Introduction to the Agricultural Revolution

The Industrial Revolution Index

Introduction to the First Industrial Revolution

The Textile Industry Index

Introduction to the Textile Industry
John Kay and the Flying Shuttle
James Hargreaves and the Spinning Jenny
Edmund Cartwright and the Power Loom
Samuel Crompton and the Spinning Mule
Brief History of the Cotton Industry

History Chapters Main Index

 

Chronology of the Textile Industry

1733

Kay patented the Flying Shuttle.

1730

1742

Cotton mills were opened at Birmingham and Northampton.

1743

Lancashire mill owners imported East India yarns to improve the quality of textiles

1740

1753

An angry mob of weavers wrecked Kay's house.

1750

1764

Hargreaves designed the Spinning Jenny.
Arkwright designed the Water Frame.

1768

An angry mob destroyed Arkwright's mill at Chorely

1769

Arkwright patented the Water Frame.

1760

1770

Hargreaves patented the Spinning Jenny.

1771

Arkwright opened his mill at Cromford.

1773

The first all-cotton textiles were produced.

1779

Crompton designed the Spinning Mule.

1770

1783

Arkwright's mill at Masson was opened.

1785

Cartwright patented the power loom.

1787

Cotton goods production was 10 times more than in 1770.

1789

Samuel Slater brought textile machinery design to the US.

1780

1790

Arkwright's steam powered factory was built in Nottingham.

1792

Grimshaw's factory in Manchester was destroyed by an angry mob of weavers and spinners.
Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin.

1790

1804

Joseph Marie Jacquard invented a device using punched card to weave complex designs.

1806

English textile mills were forced to close down as supplies of cotton from the US South ran short.

1800

1813

Horrocks invented the speed batton

1810

 

TWO CENTURIES OF REVOLUTIONARY CHANGE

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The Industrial Revolution

Richard Arkwright and the Water Frame

 

Richard Arkwright

Richard Arkwright
This image was provided by Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council
for use in the Cotton Town digitisation project: www.cottontown.org

 

In 1769, a wig maker and perrucier, Richard Arkwright, had observed that, even with these improvements, the hand loom weavers could not keep up with the demand for cloth. He therefore set out to design and produce a much larger spinning machine that would be able to cope with the increased demand. His design became known as the water frame. It was given this name because it needed energy from a watermill to power it. It was therefore too large for cottage work and, consequently, had to be placed in a large building known as a factory.

 

The Water Frame

The Water Frame

 

This meant that, for the first time, a family involved in the production of woven cloth were now split up. The women of the family, whom, you will remember, were the traditional spinners, now had to leave their cottages and work in a large building where the water frames had been installed. Since these factories used water as their power source, they tended to be built in areas where a good supply of fast flowing water was available.

These early water powered factories, because they looked like large watermills, became known as mills. They were mainly concentrated in the mountainous areas of Britain where water was plentiful.

For the first time men and women were separated in their work. The man stayed at home to produce the weaving and the women left home each day to work in the factory, producing the yarn for their menfolk to weave into cloth.

 

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