1733 – Arkwright – bio

Richard Arkwright was born in Preston, England (near Liverpool) in 1733 and became known for his invention of the “water frame”, which was a spinning frame that used water power. He employed John Kay, a watchmaker to produce a spinning machine that Kay and Thomas Highs had been working on. They succeeded in developing a spinning frame that that put out stronger thread but it was too large to be operated by hand. Arkwright established a factory on the banks of a river, allowing the frame to be power by the force of the water and the new invention became known as the “water frame”. While Kay and Highs seem to have actually created the idea for the machine, it was Arkwright who funded it, patented it and turned it into a water driven factory machine, also creating the template for modern factories, well before the time of Henry Ford. Arkwright made some improvements to the carding device that prepared cotton fibers for spinning and became the first to operate a factory from steam power. His factories produced the first all cotton fabric, make textiles much more affordable and helped to launch the industrial revolution.

PRECURSOR:
1650 – Savery
1664 – Newcomen

CONCURRENT:
?? – Kay
1718 – Highs
1720 – Hargreaves
1736 – Watt

SUBSEQUENT:
1765 – Whitney
1863 – Ford

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