Arkwright's original drawing frame (lantern frame), 1775.
Arkwright's drawing frame, commonly known as a lantern frame, England, c. 1780.
Arkwright's drawing frame, commonly known as a lantern frame, c.1780. 'Drawing' was part of the preparatory processes applied to cotton prior to it being spun - Drawing both strengthens and evens the fibres and adds some twist. This machine was probably Arkwright's original drawing frame. Two 'slivers' of loose cotton fibres are fed between a pair of rollers. The slivers are then combined, and their fibres straightened out, by passing through a second pair of faster rotating rollers. The resultant fibre is also imparted with a slight twist to hold the fibres together. The twisted and combined slivers were coiled into tall metal cans before passing on to other stages of the preparation and spinning processes. There, they were extracted from the cans by a side door, giving it the appearance of a lantern. Because of this, these machines were often referred to as 'lantern frames'.