Frame - Water Frame
In 1768, Richard Arkwright invented
the spinning frame that could produce stronger threads for yarns.
The first models were powered by waterwheels
so the device came to be first known as the water frame. It was the first
powered, automatic, and continuous textile machine and enabled the move
away from small home manufacturing towards factory production. Arkwright
built his first textile mill in Cromford, England in 1774. Richard Arkwright was
successful, however, he later lost his patent rights for the spinning frame
and that opened the door for a proliferation of textile mills.
December 20, 1790, water-powered machinery for spinning and carding cotton
was set in motion in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. Based on the designs of English
inventor Richard Arkwright, a mill was built by Samuel Slater on the Blackstone
River. The Slater mill was the first American factory to successfully produce
cotton yarn with water-powered machines. Slater was a recent English immigrant
who apprenticed Arkwright's partner, Jebediah Strutt.
Samuel Slater had evaded British
law against emigration of textile workers in order to seek his fortune
in America. Considered the father of the United States textile industry,
he eventually built several successful cotton mills in New England and
established the town of Slatersville, Rhode Island.
Frame - Richard Arkwright
Richard Arkwright set out to design
and produce a much larger spinning machine.
Arkwright - Cotton King
The father of the factory system
was Richard Arkwright.
Arkwright - Spinning Frame
Richard Arkwright's Spinning Frame
was too large to be operated by hand and so the men had to find another
method of working the machine. After experimenting with horses, it was
decided to employ the power of the water-wheel.
Samuel Slater designed his mill
to push the limited resources of early America to their very edge.
Story of Samuel Slater
Samuel Slater has been called both
the "Father of American Industry" and the "Founder of the American Industrial
frame from Slater Mill, Pawtucket, Rhode Island, 1790
Photo of the original spinning frame
built by Samuel Slater for use in his mill.
Revolution - Timeline of the Textile Industry
Library of Congress
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