Arkwright's water frame (570 words)

Historical Context Essay


Sir Richard Arkwright (1732-1792) was born into the working-class in Preston, Lancashire, and became self-educated entrepreneur. He began his working life as a wig-maker and became interested in the spinning of cotton fibres. Drawing inspiration from Crompton’s “spinning mule” and Hargreaves’ “spinning jenny” he developed a machine which was able to turn raw cotton into high-quality cotton thread in one operation. The machine, patented in 1769, was called a “water frame” because it was designed to be powered by a water mill and comprised a …

Clark, Robert. "Arkwright's water frame". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 23 January 2004
[, accessed 21 October 2016.]