The Power Loom
Weaving has been around since the stone ages and by the time of the ancient Egyptians the making of linen cloth had become a fine art.
During the middle ages people wove cloth in their homes on hand looms. The women of the family would weave the cloth which provided clothing for the whole family.
In 1764 an Englishman called James Hargreaves invented the Spinning Jenny which could make thread from plant and animal fibres. This made large supplies of yarn available and faster weaving was demanded.
The power loom was invented by an English clergyman called Edmund Cartwright in 1785. Cartwright's power loom ran by steam. It was very similar to a hand loom, but the working parts took the place of human hands. Within the next 150 years, what had been essentially a cottage industry, became a factory operation. From this the cotton mills were born.
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