Arkwright's prototype spinning machine, 1769.

1769 in England
John Kay
Richard Arkwright

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Original spinning machine, Sir Richard Arkwright and John Kay, England, 1769.

Arkwright's prototype spinning machine, 1769. The machine uses the drawing roller method invented by Lewis Paul in 1738. It was constructed with the assistance of John Kay, clockmaker. The cotton fibres to be spun passed through four pairs of rollers.The rollers are geared so that cotton fibres passed through the slowest first and then the faster ones, so tha the fibres are attentuated.The cotton passes to the bobbin through hooks on the flyer. The rotation of the flyer gives one turn of twist, that of the bobbin winds the thread on. A differential in speed of the bobbin and flyer is caused by the drag created by a strip of worsted about the sheave.The amount of thread wound onto the bobbin and the degree of twist of the thread is dependent upon this differential speed. The machine could only be used for spinning the hard and strong warps, not wefts. It is probable that this object was the development machine as the commercially viable frame would need to have more bobbins.


Textiles Machinery
Object Number:
leather and wood
overall: 850 x 400 x 770 mm
spinning wheels
Fothergill, B.