Inventor of the Water Frame
Richard Arkwright was born in Preston, England in 1733 and died in 1792. He had a huge impact on the industrial revolution. Richard was one of thirteen children and he was too poor to attend school but became an apprentice barber and wig maker which was before he was interested in the new cotton trade. Richard invented the carding engine and the spinning frame which was later named the water frame.
This invention was made in 1769 and it could produce strong threads for yarns. The first models were powered by water wheels, which is how the invention became known as the water frame. Richard worked with a clockmaker, John Kay. By the late 1760's, they had machine that could spin four strands of cotton yarn at the same time. This spinning machine spins 96 strands of yarn at once.
In order to open a mechanised cotton mill, Richard had to raise funds but struggled to do so. He eventually invested 12 000 pounds into the mill with a partner which was big money at that time. Richard was soon selling water frames to other manufactures so by the mid 1780s over 30 000 people worked in factories.
His working area was very harsh. He fined workers for being late and he also employed child labourers on low pay.
Long term and wider effects of the water frame
Today, most of the water frames have been discontinued. They have been replaced with electrical powered machines.
The water frame took away many jobs of people who were skilled, but not fast enough to keep up with the machine. It decreased a lot of labour work and made more money. The positive side is that it can make clothes and fabrics a lot faster than by doing it by hand.