Jenny - James Hargreaves
Several inventions in textile machinery
occurred in a relatively short time period during the industrial revolution:
the flying shuttle, spinning jenny, spinning
frame, and cotton gin. These inventions
facilitated the handling of large quantities of harvested cotton. In 1764,
a British carpenter and weaver named James Hargreaves invented an
improved spinning jenny, a hand-powered multiple spinning machine that was the first
machine to improve upon the spinning wheel.
James Hargreaves was born in Oswaldtwistle,
England in 1720, he received no formal education and was never taught how
to read or write. James Hargreaves worked as a carpenter and a weaver. Legend has it that Hargreaves' daughter Jenny knocked
over a spinning wheel and as Hargreaves watched the spindle roll across
the floor the idea for the spinning jenny came to him. However, that story
is just a legend. Jenny was rumored to have been the name of Hargreaves' wife and
that he named his
invention after her.
The original spinning jenny used
eight spindles instead of the one found on the spinning wheel. A single
wheel on the spinning jenny controlled eight spindles which created a weave
using eight threads spun from a corresponding set of rovings. Later
models had up to one-hundred and twenty spindels.
Hargreaves patented a sixteen spindle
spinning jenny on July 12, 1770. The courts rejected his patent application
for his first spinning jenny because he had made and sold several too long
before he filed for a patent. The labor saving devices threatened workers
and in 1768 a group of spinners broke into Hargreaves' house and destroyed
his spinning jenny machines, fearing that the machines would take work
away from them.
James Hargreaves' invention did in
fact decrease the need for labor. The only drawback was that his machine
produced thread that was too coarse to be used for warp threads (weaving
term for the the series of yarns that extended lengthways in a loom) and
could only produce weft threads (weaving term for the crossways yarn).
"Spinning Jenny" - James Hargreaves
James Hargreaves made a number of
Spinning Jennies and started to sell them in the area. However, since each
machine was capable of doing the work of eight people, other spinners were
angry about the competition. In 1768, a group of spinners broke into Hargreaves'
house and destroyed his machines.
Revolution - Timeline of the Textile Industry
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