The Great Water Frame

Industrial Revolution Project: by joesyph fridline

who is the inventor

Who is this Inventor of the the Water Frame?

Arkwright, Sir Richard

Born: 1732 Died: 1792

How does this invention work? When was it invented?


  • In 1769 the water frame was invented, although James Hargreaves's spinning jenny was enjoying great success. However, the spinning jenny simply mechanized the actions of a hand-turned spinning wheel.
  • Arkwright came up with a design that would produce stronger yarn by drawing the cotton fibers apart further and more evenly. The cotton was pulled through a set of eight rollers arranged in four pairs. In each pair, the top roller was covered in leather, a material that easily gripped the rough cotton. The bottom rollers were made of either wood or metal, and had flutes (scoop-bottomed grooves) cut into them that allowed the cotton fibers to pass through. The first set of rollers was designed to turn slowly, while each successive pair turned slightly faster; this pulled the fibers further and further apart, producing a roving that was even and free of lumps. As the cotton emerged from the final set of rollers it was twisted tightly into a strong yarn.

Where did this invention occur?

The water frame was invented in England by Richard Arkwright and was patented(the exclusive right granted by a government to an inventor to manufacture, use, or sell an invention for a certain number of years. ) in 1769.

Why was there a need for the invention?Why was it important in history?

The water frame worked on a different principle from the spinning jenny. It drew the threads of cotton out and then twisted them to make yarn, whereas the jenny and the spinning mule performed both operations simultaneously. The water frame produced a coarse thread suitable primarily for the warp in woven cloth. It fell into disuse around 1800, but then reappeared in the 1820s and 1830s when the general use of the power loom created a demand for strong warp yarns.

What is the purpose of the invention?

The water frame produced a coarser, firmer yarn than the spinning jenny. The yarn's greater strength made it a valuable commodity because it could be worked without breaking by machines such as the power loom.

Bibliography

  • Arkwright's Water Frame, C 1775.. Photograph. Encyclopædia Britannica ImageQuest. Web. 30 Jan 2014. http://quest.eb.com/images/102_556508
  • Sir Richard Arkwright Studio Of Joseph Wright. Fine Art. Encyclopædia Britannica ImageQuest. Web. 30 Jan 2014. http://quest.eb.com/images/114_946031
  • Water Frame By Arkwright 1769. Fine Art. Encyclopædia Britannica ImageQuest. Web. 30 Jan 2014. http://quest.eb.com/images/109_130877
  • "Water frame." World of Invention. Gale, 2006. Student Resources in Context. Web. 30 Jan. 2014.
  • Reill, Peter Hanns, and Ellen Judy Wilson. "Arkwright, Sir Richard." Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment, Revised Edition. New York: Facts On File, Inc., 2004. Modern World History Online. Facts On File, Inc. http://www.fofweb.com/activelink2.asp?
    ItemID=WE53&iPin=EEN027&SingleRecord=True (accessed January 30, 2014).
  • Reill, Peter Hanns, and Ellen Judy Wilson. "water frame." Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment, Revised Edition. New York: Facts On File, Inc., 2004. Modern World History Online. Facts On File, Inc. http://www.fofweb.com/activelink2.asp?
    ItemID=WE53&iPin=EEN810&SingleRecord=True (accessed February 3, 2014).

Document URL
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