Cartwright's power loom (129 words)

Historical Context Note

  • Editors


Edmund Cartwright patented the first power loom in 1785. This loom capitalised on the flying shuttle invented in 1733 by John Kay, and improvements in yarn production achieved by Hargreaves ( the “spinning Jenny”, 1764) and Crompton (the “spinning mule”, 1779) and Arkwright’s “water frame” of 1769, which had radically increased the volume and quality of yarns available to weavers. Whilst Cartwright’s first loom was a breakthrough, it was also imperfect, and many more refinements were to be required before the full effect of its achievements could realised. However, through 1800-1810 improvements by other inventors, coupled with improvements in steam engines, brought the power loom to such efficiency that it was …

Editors. "Cartwright's power loom". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 23 January 2004
[, accessed 31 March 2017.]

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