Notícia

Richard Arkwright

Richard Arkwright

Richard Arkwright, o sexto dos sete filhos de Thomas Arkwright (1691-1753), um alfaiate, e sua esposa, Ellen Hodgkinson (1693-1778), nasceu em Preston em 23 de dezembro de 1732. Os pais de Richard eram muito pobres e podiam não se deu ao luxo de mandá-lo para a escola e, em vez disso, providenciou para que ele fosse ensinado a ler e escrever por sua prima Ellen. (1)

Richard tornou-se aprendiz de barbeiro em Kirkham antes de se mudar para Bolton. Ele trabalhou para Edward Pollit e em 1754 ele começou seu próprio negócio como fabricante de perucas. No ano seguinte, ele se casou com Patience Holt, filha de um professor. Seu único filho, Richard Arkwright, nasceu em 19 de dezembro de 1755. Após a morte de sua primeira esposa, ele se casou com Margaret Biggins (1723–1811) em 24 de março de 1761. (2)

O trabalho de Arkwright o envolvia viajando pelo país coletando cabelos descartados das pessoas. Em setembro de 1767, Arkwright conheceu John Kay, um relojoeiro de Warrington, que estivera ocupado por algum tempo tentando produzir uma nova máquina de fiar com outro homem, Thomas Highs de Leigh. Kay and Highs ficou sem dinheiro e foi forçada a abandonar o projeto. Arkwright ficou impressionado com Kay e se ofereceu para contratá-lo para fazer essa nova máquina.

Arkwright também recrutou outro artesão local, incluindo Peter Atherton, para ajudar Kay em seus experimentos. De acordo com uma fonte: "Eles alugaram um quarto na casa de um professor isolada atrás de uns arbustos de groselha, mas eram tão secretos que os vizinhos suspeitaram e os acusaram de feitiçaria, e duas mulheres idosas reclamaram que os zumbidos que ouviam à noite devem seja o diabo ajustando sua gaita de fole. " (3)

Como o historiador econômico, Thomas Southcliffe Ashton, apontou, Arkwright não tinha nenhuma grande capacidade inventiva, mas "tinha a força de caráter e senso robusto que são tradicionalmente associados ao seu país natal - com pouco, pode-se acrescentar, de a gentileza e o humor que são, de fato, os traços dominantes do povo de Lancashire. " (4)

Em 1768, a equipe produziu o Spinning-Frame e uma patente para a nova máquina foi concedida em 1769. A máquina envolvia três conjuntos de rolos emparelhados que giravam em velocidades diferentes. Enquanto esses rolos produziam fios com a espessura correta, um conjunto de fusos torcia as fibras juntas com firmeza. A máquina foi capaz de produzir um fio muito mais resistente do que o da Spinning-Jenny produzida por James Hargreaves. (5)

Adam Hart-Davis explicou a maneira como a nova máquina funcionava: "Várias máquinas de fiar foram projetadas nessa época, mas a maioria delas tentava fazer o alongamento e a fiação juntas. O problema é que no momento em que você começa a torcer a mecha travar as fibras juntas. A ideia de Arkwright era esticar primeiro e depois torcer. A mecha passou de uma bobina entre um par de rolos e, alguns centímetros depois, entre outro par que girava com o dobro da velocidade. O resultado foi esticar a errância até o dobro do comprimento original. Um terceiro par de rolos repetiu o processo ... Duas coisas são óbvias no momento em que você vê a besta maravilhosa em ação. Primeiro, há 32 bobinas ao longo de cada lado de cada extremidade da estrutura de água - 128 em toda a máquina. Em segundo lugar, é tão automático que até eu poderia operá-lo. " (6)

Em 29 de setembro de 1769, Arkwright alugou instalações em Nottingham. No entanto, ele teve dificuldade em encontrar investidores em sua nova empresa. David Thornley, um comerciante de Liverpool, e John Smalley, um publicano de Preston, forneceram algum dinheiro, mas ele ainda precisava de mais para iniciar a produção. Arkwright abordou um banqueiro Ichabod Wright, mas ele rejeitou a proposta porque julgou que havia "pouca perspectiva de a descoberta ser levada a um estado prático". (7)

Wright apresentou Arkwright a Jedediah Strutt e Samuel Need. Strutt era um fabricante de meias e o inventor de uma máquina de tricotar à máquina de meias com nervuras. (8) Strutt e Need ficaram impressionados com a nova máquina de Arkwright e concordaram em formar uma parceria. Em 19 de janeiro de 1770, por £ 500, Need e Strutt juntaram-se aos sócios; Arkwright, Thornley e Smalley administrariam as obras, cada um com £ 25 por ano. Financeiramente seguros, os parceiros contrataram Samuel Stretton para converter as instalações em uma usina movida a cavalos. (9)

A máquina de Arkwright era grande demais para ser operada manualmente e, portanto, os homens tiveram que encontrar outro método de operar a máquina. Depois de experimentar com cavalos, decidiu-se usar a força da roda d'água. Em 1771, os três homens estabeleceram uma grande fábrica próxima ao rio Derwent em Cromford, Derbyshire. Arkwright mais tarde disse que seu advogado que Cromford havia sido escolhido porque oferecia "um notável riacho de água ... em uma área muito cheia de habitantes". (10) A máquina de Arkwright agora ficou conhecida como Water-Frame. Não apenas "fiou o algodão mais rapidamente, mas também produziu um fio de qualidade mais fina". (11)

Arkwright não construiu a primeira fábrica na Grã-Bretanha. Acredita-se que ele emprestou a ideia de Matthew Boulton, que financiou a Manufatura Soho em Birmingham em 1762. No entanto, a fábrica de Arkwright era muito maior e inspiraria uma geração de empresários capitalistas. De acordo com Adam Hart-Davis: "A fábrica de Arkwright foi essencialmente a primeira fábrica desse tipo no mundo. Nunca antes as pessoas haviam sido colocadas para trabalhar de forma tão bem organizada. Nunca as pessoas disseram para entrar em um horário fixo de manhã e trabalhar o dia todo em uma tarefa prescrita. Suas fábricas se tornaram o modelo para fábricas em todo o país e em todo o mundo. Essa era a maneira de construir uma fábrica. E ele próprio geralmente seguia o mesmo padrão - edifícios de pedra 9 metros de largura, 30 metros de comprimento ou mais, se houver espaço, e cinco, seis ou sete andares de altura. " (12)

Em Cromford, não havia população local suficiente para fornecer a Arkwright os trabalhadores de que precisava. Depois de construir um grande número de chalés perto da fábrica, ele importou trabalhadores de todo Derbyshire. Em poucos meses, ele estava empregando 600 trabalhadores. Arkwright preferia tecelões com famílias grandes. Enquanto as mulheres e crianças trabalhavam na sua fiação, os tecelões trabalhavam em casa transformando o fio em tecido. (13)

Um jornalista local escreveu: "As máquinas de Arkwright exigem tão poucas mãos, e essas crianças, com a ajuda de um supervisor. Uma criança pode produzir tanto quanto faria, e em média, empregava dez pessoas adultas. Jennies para fiar com cem ou duzentos fusos, ou mais, indo todos de uma vez, e exigindo apenas uma pessoa para gerenciá-los.No espaço de dez anos, sendo um homem pobre de £ 5, Richard Arkwright comprou uma propriedade de £ 20.000; ao passo que milhares de mulheres, quando conseguem trabalho, precisam fazer um longo dia para cardar, fiar e enrolar 5.040 jardas de algodão, e para isso têm quatro ou cinco pence e não mais. " (14)

Peter Kirby, o autor de Trabalho infantil na Grã-Bretanha, 1750-1870 (2003) argumentou que foi a pobreza que forçou as crianças a entrar nas fábricas: "As famílias pobres que viviam perto de um salário de subsistência eram muitas vezes forçadas a recorrer a fontes de renda mais diversas e tinham pouca escolha sobre se seus filhos trabalhariam." (15) Michael Anderson apontou que os pais "que de outra forma mostravam considerável afeição por seus filhos ... ainda foram forçados por famílias numerosas e baixos salários a mandar seus filhos para trabalhar o mais rápido possível." (16)

Os filhos mais novos nas fábricas têxteis costumavam ser empregados como catadores e remendadores. Os perfuradores tiveram de se inclinar sobre a máquina de fiar para consertar os fios quebrados. Um observador escreveu: "O trabalho das crianças, em muitos casos, é estender a mão para remendar os fios que se rompem; eles têm tantos que precisam cuidar e têm pouco tempo para remendar esses fios porque precisam alcançar enquanto a roda está saindo. " (17)

Os catadores tiveram que recolher o algodão solto debaixo do maquinário. Isso era extremamente perigoso, pois esperava-se que as crianças realizassem a tarefa enquanto a máquina ainda estava funcionando. David Rowland, trabalhou como catador em Manchester: "O catador tem que pegar a escova e varrer sob as rodas, e estar sob a direção dos fiandeiros e dos remendadores em geral. Eu freqüentemente tinha que estar sob as rodas, e em conseqüência do movimento perpétuo das máquinas, eu era sujeito a acidentes constantes. Muito freqüentemente era obrigado a ficar deitado, para evitar ser atropelado ou pego. " (18)

John Fielden, proprietário de uma fábrica, admitiu que muitos danos foram causados ​​pelas crianças que passavam o dia todo em pé: "Em uma reunião em Manchester, um homem afirmou que uma criança em uma fábrica caminhava vinte e quatro milhas por dia. Fiquei surpreso com esta afirmação, portanto, quando fui para casa, entrei na minha própria fábrica, e com um relógio diante de mim, observei uma criança trabalhando, e tendo-a observado por algum tempo, calculei então a distância que ela tinha daqui a um dia, e para minha surpresa, não encontrei nada menos que trinta quilômetros. " (19)

O maquinário desprotegido era um grande problema para as crianças que trabalhavam em fábricas. Um hospital informou que a cada ano trata quase mil pessoas com ferimentos e mutilações causados ​​por máquinas nas fábricas. Michael Ward, um médico que trabalha em Manchester, disse a uma comissão parlamentar: "Quando eu era um cirurgião na enfermaria, os acidentes eram frequentemente admitidos na enfermaria, porque as mãos e os braços das crianças ficavam presos na máquina; em muitos casos, os músculos , e a pele é descascada até os ossos e, em alguns casos, um dedo ou dois podem ser perdidos. No verão passado, visitei a Lever Street School. O número de crianças na escola, que trabalhavam em fábricas, era de 106 . O número de crianças feridas com o maquinário chegou a quase a metade. Houve quarenta e sete feridas dessa maneira. " (20)

William Blizard lecionou cirurgia e anatomia no Royal College of Surgeons. Ele estava especialmente preocupado com o impacto deste trabalho em mulheres jovens: "No período inicial, os ossos não são formados de forma permanente e não podem resistir à pressão no mesmo grau que em uma idade madura, e esse é o estado das mulheres jovens; eles são responsáveis, particularmente pela pressão dos ossos da coxa sobre as partes laterais, de ter a pelve pressionada para dentro, o que cria o que é chamado de distorção; e embora a distorção não impeça a procriação, ainda assim, muito provavelmente produzirá consequências mortais, seja para o mãe ou filho, quando o período. " (21)

Elizabeth Bentley, que veio de Leeds, foi outra testemunha que compareceu ao comitê. Ela contou como o trabalho na sala de jogos prejudicou seriamente a sua saúde: "Estava tão empoeirado, a poeira subiu pelos meus pulmões e o trabalho foi tão difícil. Fiquei tão mal de saúde que, quando puxei os cestos para baixo , Eu tirei meus ossos de seus lugares. " Bentley explicou que agora ela estava "consideravelmente deformada". Ela continuou, dizendo: "Eu tinha cerca de treze anos quando começou a acontecer e piorou desde então." (22)

Samuel Smith, um médico de Leeds explicou por que trabalhar em fábricas têxteis era ruim para a saúde das crianças: "Até os doze ou treze anos de idade, os ossos são tão macios que se dobram em qualquer direção. O pé é formado por uma arco de ossos em forma de cunha. Esses arcos têm que sustentar todo o peso do corpo. Agora tenho o hábito de ver frequentemente casos em que esse arco cedeu. Permanecer em pé por muito tempo também tem um efeito muito prejudicial sobre os tornozelos. Mas os principais efeitos que eu vi produzidos desta forma foram sobre os joelhos. Por continuar a ficar em pé por muito tempo, os joelhos tornam-se tão fracos que se voltam para dentro, produzindo aquela deformidade que é chamada de "joelhos virados". viu isso tão impressionante, que o indivíduo realmente perdeu trinta centímetros de sua altura por isso. " (23)

John Reed mais tarde relembrou sua vida como uma criança trabalhadora em Cromford Mill: "Continuei a trabalhar nesta fábrica por dez anos, ganhando salários gradativamente, até chegar a 6s.33 por semana; que é o salário mais alto que já tive . Gradualmente, tornei-me um aleijado, até que aos dezenove anos não consegui ficar em pé na máquina e fui obrigado a desistir. O valor total dos meus ganhos foi de cerca de 130 xelins, e por esta soma ganhei um miserável aleijado, como você vê, e rejeitado por aqueles que colheram o benefício do meu trabalho, sem um único centavo. " (24)

Arkwright produzia originalmente fios de algodão para meias, mas suas possibilidades como urdidura para o tear levaram, em 1773, à fabricação de calicos. Jedediah Strutt assumiu a responsabilidade de fazer lobby no Parlamento e acabou persuadindo seus membros a reduzir os impostos especiais sobre o consumo de produtos de algodão feitos na Grã-Bretanha. (25) Em fevereiro de 1774, os sócios podiam, de acordo com Elizabeth Strutt, "vendê-los ... o mais rápido que pudéssemos fazê-los". (26)

Como JJ Mason apontou: "Em meados da década de 1770, ele procurou dominar o comércio. Em 1775, ele solicitou com sucesso a patente de certos instrumentos e máquinas para preparar seda, algodão, linho e lã para fiar. Cobrindo uma variedade de de máquinas preparatórias e de fiação, foi uma tentativa de estender a duração e os prazos de seu monopólio a toda a indústria do algodão ”. (27)

Quando os empresários ouviram sobre o sucesso de Arkwright, enviaram espiões para descobrir o que estava acontecendo em suas fábricas. Em troca de dinheiro, alguns funcionários de Arkwright estavam dispostos a explicar como a fábrica era organizada. Os empresários então usaram essas informações para construir suas próprias fábricas têxteis movidas a água. Isso incluía espiões enviados de "muitos países diferentes, da Rússia, Dinamarca, Suécia e Prússia, mas os mais ansiosos dos espiões eram do maior rival da Grã-Bretanha, a França". (28)

Ralph Mather relatou que Arkwright temia que os luditas destruíssem sua fábrica: "Há algum medo de que a turba venha destruir as obras em Cromford, mas eles estão bem preparados para recebê-los caso venham aqui. Todos os cavalheiros desta vizinhança estão determinados para defender as obras, que têm sido de tanta utilidade para este país. 5.000 ou 6.000 homens podem ser a qualquer momento reunidos em menos de uma hora por sinais acordados, que estão determinados a defender até a última extremidade, as obras, por que muitas centenas de suas esposas e filhos têm um sustento decente e confortável. " (29)

Eric Hobsbawm argumentou que em suas negociações com seus parceiros ele era um "operador sem escrúpulos". (30) Matthew Boulton o descreveu como um "tirano". (31) John Smalley sugeriu a Jedediah Strutt que eles deveriam expulsar Arkwright da empresa. Strutt respondeu. "Não podemos calar sua boca ou impedir que cometa erros ... mas não está em nosso poder removê-lo ... pois ele está na posse e está tão certo quanto nós." (32)

Arkwright ganhou mais dinheiro vendendo os direitos de uso de suas máquinas. Com a patente de 1769 prestes a expirar no verão de 1783, Arkwright enfrentava a perda de controle da indústria do algodão. Ele fez uma petição ao parlamento para que suas patentes fossem consolidadas e a patente de 1769 estendida até 1789. No entanto, como aponta Jenny Uglow: "Desde 1781, os fiadores de algodão de Lancashire gastaram uma fortuna em edifícios e máquinas, empregando cerca de trinta mil pessoas - homens, mulheres, e filhos. Eles não podiam se dar ao luxo de se tornar seus licenciados a preços proibitivos. " (33)

Em abril de 1781, seus concorrentes solicitaram a anulação da decisão. O julgamento ocorreu em junho. Arkwright empregou os melhores advogados e uma série de testemunhas. John Kay e Thomas Highs deram provas contra Arkwright. Ele perdeu o caso e um jornal em Manchester anunciava que "o velho Fox foi finalmente pego por sua barba crescida em sua própria armadilha". (34)

Arkwright ficou furioso com a decisão e argumentou que a decisão do tribunal interromperia o trabalho de outros inventores. James Watt foi um dos que deu seu apoio à campanha de Arkwright para estender suas patentes. Circularam rumores de que ele estava tentando comprar a safra mundial de algodão. Isso não aconteceu, mas ele criou uma empresa para estabelecer plantações de algodão na África. (35)

Apesar desse contratempo, Arkwright continuou sendo o maior fiador de algodão do país; ele obteve enormes ganhos na década de 1770 e, mesmo no início da década de 1780, seus lucros com a indústria parecem ter sido de 100% ao ano. Thomas Carlyle descreveu Arkwright como "um homem comum, quase nojento, com bochechas tortas e barrigudo, com um ar de reflexão dolorosa, mas com uma digestão livre quase copiosa". (36)

Quando Samuel Need morreu em 14 de abril de 1781. Arkwright e Jedediah Strutt decidiram dissolver sua parceria. Strutt ficou perturbado com os planos de Arkwright de construir fábricas em Manchester, Winkworth, Matlock Bath e Bakewell. Strutt acreditava que Arkwright estava se expandindo muito rápido e sem o apoio de Need, seu parceiro de longa data, ele não estava disposto a correr o risco de novos investimentos. As fábricas têxteis de Arkwright eram muito lucrativas. Ele agora construiu fábricas em Lancashire, Staffordshire e Escócia. Nessas fábricas, ele usou a nova máquina a vapor desenvolvida recentemente por James Watt e Matthew Boulton.

O biógrafo de Arkwright, J. Mason, afirmou que: "Em 1782 ele comprou a mansão Willersley e em 1789 a mansão de Cromford. Essas aquisições o estabeleceram mais firmemente com a nobreza local, incluindo os Gells e Nightingales, com os quais ele já estava ligado por meio de negócios .... A sociedade zombou de sua extravagância e ridicularizou seu comportamento gauche ... mas gostava de seus divertimentos pródigos em ... Rock House, empoleirado no alto e com vista para os moinhos e sua casa mais imponente, o Castelo Willersley. " (37)

Arkwright foi nomeado xerife de Derbyshire e nomeado cavaleiro em 1787. O rei Jorge III disse a Wilhelmina Murray que não lidou muito bem com a cerimônia. "O pequeno grande homem não tinha idéia de ajoelhar-se, mas se contraiu em uma postura muito estranha que suponho que Sua Majestade considerou fácil, então nunca se deu ao trabalho de mandá-lo se levantar." (38)

Os funcionários de Richard Arkwright trabalhavam das seis da manhã às sete da noite. Embora alguns dos proprietários de fábricas empregassem crianças de apenas cinco anos, a política de Arkwright era esperar até que atingissem a idade de seis. Dois terços dos 1.900 trabalhadores de Arkwright eram crianças. Como a maioria dos proprietários de fábricas, Arkwright não estava disposto a empregar pessoas com mais de quarenta anos. (39)

William Dodd realizou um estudo sobre o impacto de longo prazo na saúde física dessas crianças trabalhadoras. Isso incluiu uma entrevista com John Reed: "Aqui está um jovem, que era evidentemente destinado por natureza a um homem robusto, aleijado no auge da vida, e todas as suas perspectivas terrenas destruídas para sempre! Ele não pode ficar de pé sem um pedaço de pau em uma das mãos e apoiado em uma cadeira com a outra; suas pernas são torcidas de todas as formas. Seu corpo, da testa aos joelhos, forma uma curva, semelhante à letra C. Ele não ousa sair de casa, se puder; as pessoas o encaram assim. "

Dodd comparou a vida de John Reed com a de Richard Arkwright: "Fiz várias caminhadas nas proximidades deste belo e romântico lugar e vi o esplêndido castelo e outros edifícios pertencentes aos Arkwrights, e não pude evitar contrastar em meu Lembre-se da condição atual desta família rica, com a condição humilde de seu fundador em 1768. Pode-se esperar que aqueles que assim alcançaram tal riqueza e eminência tenham alguma compaixão por seus pobres aleijados. para tê-los apontado, e que sua atenção até agora não foi atraída para eles, eu espero e confio que este caso de John Reed ainda será notado por eles. " (40)

Arkwright teve dificuldade em fazer amigos e Josiah Wedgwood afirmou que "ele evita qualquer companhia tanto quanto possível". Archibald Buchanan, que morava com ele e o achava "tão concentrado em seus esquemas" que "muitas vezes se sentavam juntos por semanas, em lados opostos do fogo, sem trocar uma sílaba". (41)

Richard Arkwright morreu aos 59 anos em 3 de agosto de 1792 em sua casa em Cromford, após um mês de doença. Em 10 de agosto, mais de 2.000 pessoas compareceram a seu funeral. (42) The Gentleman's Magazine alegou que em sua morte, Arkwright valia mais de £ 500.000 (mais de £ 200 milhões em dinheiro de hoje). (43)


Por volta de 1767, com alguns amigos, ele (Richard Arkwright) começou a construir uma máquina para fiar algodão. Eles alugaram um quarto na isolada casa de um professor atrás de uns arbustos de groselha, mas eram tão secretos que os vizinhos suspeitaram e os acusaram de feitiçaria, e duas velhas reclamaram que os zumbidos que ouviam à noite deviam ser o diabo afinando sua gaita de foles ...

Assim, Richard Arkwright subiu as colinas até Nottingham e projetou uma grande máquina para ser dirigida por cinco ou seis cavalos, mas antes mesmo de colocá-la em funcionamento deu um passo importante. Ele pegou dinheiro emprestado e construiu uma enorme "fábrica", para abrigar dezenas de máquinas e centenas de pessoas.

Ele provavelmente pegou a ideia emprestada de Matthew Boulton, o grande industrial de Birmingham, um titã que assomava nas brumas do século XVIII. Em 1762, Boulton reuniu toda uma coleção de pequenos negócios e os reuniu em um complexo no Soho, em Birmingham; ele a chamou de Manufatura do Soho.

Arkwright foi um estágio além. Ele planejou tudo do zero e empregou trabalhadores não qualificados para operar as máquinas que ele havia projetado e construído. Ele arrendou o terreno em agosto de 1771 - custava-lhe £ 14 por ano - e a fábrica foi concluída antes do final do ano. O prédio tinha cinco andares e três deles ainda estão de pé, embora tudo pareça bastante triste hoje.

O que o levou ao selvagem outback de Derbyshire? As estradas eram tão ruins que provavelmente era um dia de viagem de Nottingham, embora a distância seja inferior a 30 milhas. O que ele queria era um fluxo de água forte e regular para abastecer sua fábrica. Ele escolheu Cromford por causa de Bonsall Brook, um bom riacho rápido que deságua no rio Derwent meia milha rio abaixo. E fluindo para Bonsall Brook está Cromford Sough, que é essencialmente um dreno das minas de chumbo naquela colina.

As máquinas de Arkwright requerem tão poucas mãos, e essas únicas crianças, com a ajuda de um supervisor. Jennies por girar com cem ou duzentos fusos, ou mais, indo todos de uma vez e exigindo apenas uma pessoa para gerenciá-los.

No espaço de dez anos, sendo um homem pobre de £ 5, Richard Arkwright comprou uma propriedade de £ 20.000; enquanto milhares de mulheres, quando conseguem trabalho, precisam fazer um longo dia para cardar, fiar e enrolar 5.040 jardas de algodão, e para isso têm quatro ou cinco pence e não mais.

Procurado em Cromford. Forjando e arquivando ferreiros, marceneiros e carpinteiros, tricoteiros e tecelões com famílias numerosas. Da mesma forma, crianças de todas as idades podem ter empregos constantes. Rapazes e rapazes podem ser ensinados a ofícios, o que os capacitará a manter uma família em pouco tempo.

John Jefferies, um armeiro de Cromford, foi internado na Casa de Correção de Derby por um mês; e para ser submetido a trabalhos forçados. John Jefferies foi acusado pelo Sr. Arkwright, comerciante de algodão, de se ausentar dos negócios de seu senhor sem licença (sendo um servo contratado).

Há algum medo de que a turba venha destruir as obras em Cromford, mas eles estão bem preparados para recebê-los, caso venham aqui. 5.000 ou 6.000 homens podem ser reunidos a qualquer momento em menos de uma hora por sinais combinados, que estão determinados a defender até a última extremidade, as obras pelas quais muitas centenas de suas esposas e filhos obtêm um sustento decente e confortável.

À noite, fui a pé até Cromford e vi as crianças saindo do trabalho de uma das fábricas do Sr. Arkwright. Essas crianças trabalharam das 6 às 7 horas da manhã e agora são 7 da noite.

John Reed é um jovem tristemente deformado que vive em Cromford. Ele conta sua triste história da seguinte maneira: "Fui trabalhar na fábrica de algodão dos Srs. Arkwright aos nove anos. Na época, eu era um bom rapaz forte e saudável e íntegro em todos os membros. No primeiro caso, tinha 2s. por semana, por setenta e duas horas de trabalho. Continuei a trabalhar nesta fábrica por dez anos, avançando gradualmente nos salários, até chegar aos 6s. O valor total dos meus ganhos era de cerca de 130 xelins, e para esta soma eu tenho feito um miserável aleijado, como você vê, e rejeitado por aqueles que colheram o benefício do meu trabalho, sem um único centavo. "

Aqui está um jovem, que foi evidentemente concebido por natureza para ser um homem robusto, aleijado no início da vida, e todas as suas perspectivas terrenas destruídas para sempre! Raramente encontrei um aleijado assim. Ele não ousa sair de casa, se puder; as pessoas olham para ele assim. Ele agora está aprendendo a fazer os primeiros sapatos para crianças e espera poder viver dessa maneira.

Já dei várias caminhadas nas proximidades deste belo e romântico lugar, e vi o esplêndido castelo e outras construções pertencentes aos Arkwrights, e não pude deixar de contrastar em minha mente a condição atual desta família rica, com a condição humilde de seu fundador em 1768. Se for apenas porque eles precisam que eles sejam apontados, e que sua atenção até agora não tenha sido atraída para eles, eu espero e confio que este caso de John Reed ainda seja conhecido por eles.

As opiniões divididas dos contemporâneos, os primeiros elogios, a controvérsia - particularmente em relação às patentes - generalizações extraídas de períodos limitados e, não menos importante, a personalidade de Arkwright agravaram os problemas enfrentados por seus biógrafos .... Arkwright permaneceu, e ainda está, como o arquetípico self-made man ... Ainda desconhecidos são os meios pelos quais ele, ou Highs, topou com a fiação por rolos que claramente se originaram com Paul e Wyatt. A pesquisa confirmou a consciência contemporânea do implacável empréstimo de Arkwright, seja de idéias ou capital, de outros; também revelou sua habilidade, talvez originada nos anos de deferência e serviço como barbeiro, de mover-se em posições e níveis cada vez mais elevados da sociedade ...

O drama da vida de Arkwright esconde o homem privado. Sua primeira esposa morreu antes de seu filho completar um ano de idade, e mesmo assim ele aparentemente se afastou do sogro. Ele parece ter tido pouco a ver com sua mãe - de 1767 a 1773 ela recebeu caridade em Preston - e enquanto em Cromford, se não antes, viveu separado de sua segunda esposa; na década de 1780, houve supostamente uma rixa substancial com seu filho. A capacidade de brigas ferozes com seus contemporâneos, sejam parceiros ou rivais, é evidente, mas outros, como o gentil Jedediah Strutt - suas famílias tornaram-se amigos - e Erasmus Darwin, foram atraídos. Arkwright gozava de boa saúde em geral, embora tenha sofrido de asma durante toda a vida; sua jornada de trabalho durava das 5h às 21h.

Simulação de trabalho infantil (notas do professor)

Richard Arkwright e o Sistema de Fábrica (resposta ao comentário)

Robert Owen e New Lanark (resposta ao comentário)

James Watt e Steam Power (resposta ao comentário)

O sistema doméstico (resposta ao comentário)

The Luddites: 1775-1825 (resposta ao comentário)

A situação dos tecelões de teares manuais (comentário da resposta)

Transporte rodoviário e a revolução industrial (resposta ao comentário)

Canal Mania (resposta ao comentário)

Desenvolvimento inicial das ferrovias (resposta ao comentário)

(1) R. S. Fitton, The Arkwrights: Spinners of Fortune (1989) página 7

(2) J. Mason, Richard Arkwright: Dicionário Oxford de Biografia Nacional (2004-2014)

(3) Adam Hart-Davis, Richard Arkwright, Rei do Algodão (10 de outubro de 1995)

(4) Thomas Southcliffe Ashton, A Revolução Industrial 1760-1830 (1948) página 58

(5) A. L. Morton, Uma História do Povo da Inglaterra (1938) página 290

(6) Adam Hart-Davis, Richard Arkwright, Rei do Algodão (10 de outubro de 1995)

(7) R. Fitton, The Arkwrights: Spinners of Fortune (1989) página 27

(8) Gavin Weightman, Os revolucionários industriais (2007) página 11

(9) J. Mason, Richard Arkwright: Dicionário Oxford de Biografia Nacional (2004-2014)

(10) R. Fitton, The Arkwrights: Spinners of Fortune (1989) página 28

(11) A. Morton, Uma História do Povo da Inglaterra (1938) página 290

(12) Adam Hart-Davis, Richard Arkwright, Rei do Algodão (10 de outubro de 1995)

(13) Thomas Southcliffe Ashton, A Revolução Industrial 1760-1830 (1948) página 59

(14) Ralph Mather, Uma Representação Imparcial do Caso dos Fiadores de Algodão Pobres em Lancashire (1780)

(15) Peter Kirby, Trabalho infantil na Grã-Bretanha, 1750-1870 (2003) página 28

(16) Michael Anderson, Estrutura familiar em Lancashire do século XIX (1971) página 76

(17) James Turner, entrevistado pelo Comitê Parlamentar de Michael Sadler (17 de abril de 1832)

(18) David Rowland entrevistado pelo Comitê Parlamentar de Michael Sadler (10 de julho de 1832)

(19) John Fielden, discurso na Câmara dos Comuns (9 de maio de 1836)

(20) O Dr. Ward, de Manchester, foi entrevistado sobre a saúde dos trabalhadores têxteis em 25 de março de 1819.

(21) Sir William Blizard foi entrevistado pelo Comitê da Câmara dos Comuns de Michael Sadler em 21 de maio de 1832.

(22) Elizabeth Bentley foi entrevistada por Michael Sadler e seu Comitê da Câmara dos Comuns em 4 de junho de 1832.

(23) Samuel Smith, entrevistado pelo Comitê da Câmara dos Comuns de Michael Sadler em 16 de julho de 1832.

(24) William Dodd entrevistou John Reed da fábrica de Arkwright's Cromford em 1842.

(25) J. Mason, Jedediah Strutt: Dicionário Oxford de Biografia Nacional (2004-2014)

(26) R. Fitton, The Arkwrights: Spinners of Fortune (1989) página 37

(27) J. Mason, Richard Arkwright: Dicionário Oxford de Biografia Nacional (2004-2014)

(28) Gavin Weightman, Os revolucionários industriais (2007) página 10

(29) The Derby Mercury (22 de outubro de 1779)

(30) Eric Hobsbawm, Indústria e Império (1968) página 59

(31) Matthew Boulton, carta a John Wyatt (7 de agosto de 1781)

(32) R. Fitton, The Arkwrights: Spinners of Fortune (1989) página 39

(33) Jenny Uglow, Os homens lunares (2002) página 396

(34) R. Fitton, The Arkwrights: Spinners of Fortune (1989) página 138

(35) J. Mason, Richard Arkwright: Dicionário Oxford de Biografia Nacional (2004-2014)

(36) Jenny Uglow, Os homens lunares (2002) página 395

(37) J. Mason, Richard Arkwright: Dicionário Oxford de Biografia Nacional (2004-2014)

(38) R. Fitton, The Arkwrights: Spinners of Fortune (1989) página 184

(39) Thomas Southcliffe Ashton, A Revolução Industrial 1760-1830 (1948) página 93

(40) William Dodd entrevistou John Reed da fábrica de Arkwright's Cromford em 1842.

(41) R. Fitton, The Arkwrights: Spinners of Fortune (1989) página 210

(42) J. Mason, Richard Arkwright: Dicionário Oxford de Biografia Nacional (2004-2014)

(43) The Gentleman's Magazine (Agosto de 1792)


Richard Arkwright - O Pai do Sistema de Fábrica Moderno

Richard Arkwright nasceu como o 13º filho de uma família de origem humilde em 23 de dezembro de 1732, em Preston, Lancashire, Inglaterra. Pouco se sabe sobre sua juventude, exceto que seus pais não tiveram dinheiro para mandá-lo para a escola e que ele foi ensinado a ler e escrever por seu primo. Ele foi aprendiz de barbeiro em Preston e por volta de 1750, mudou-se para a cidade de Bolton, onde abriu sua própria barbearia que estava indo muito bem. No entanto, ele logo experimentou uma tragédia pessoal. Sua primeira esposa, Patience Holt, com quem se casou em 1755 e que lhe deu um filho, Richard Arkwright Junior morreu apenas um ano depois de se casarem. He remarried with Margaret Biggins in 1761, got into wig-making business and soon become a relatively successful entrepreneur.


Facts about Richard Arkwright 1: accomplishment

The biggest accomplishment of Arkwright was related to his machine, which generated yarn for mass production. He created a combination of raw material, semi-skilled labor, machinery and power.

Facts about Richard Arkwright 2: modern factory system

The modern of factory system was established Arkwright during his life due to his impressive organization and skill. The achievement of his modern factory system was spotted on his mill located at Cromford, Derbyshire.

Facts about Richard Arkwright


RICHARD ARKWRIGHT (1732-1792)

Richard Arkwright was born 23 December 1732 at Preston in Lancashire, the youngest of 13 children of Thomas and his wife Ellen. Thomas was a small farmer and sometime tailor. Richard served his apprenticeship as a barber and wig maker in Preston with a man called Nicholson and it is believed that he was taught to read by his uncle. Later in life, at the age of 50 he undertook additional study to improve his command of English and his handwriting. Arkwright moved to Bolton in about 1750 to work with Mr. Pollitt a barber and peruke maker. Mr. Pollitt died and Arkwright continued the business for his widow until 1755.

During his time at Bolton, Richard Arkwright met Thomas Ridgeway, a dyer and bleacher, and his friend, Robert Holt, a school master. Arkwright married Robert Holt's daughter, Patience, on 31 March 1755. Richard and Patience's had a son, Richard, born 19 December 1755 at Bolton. Patience Arkwright died soon afterwards. Richard left his employment with Mrs. Pollitt and set up on his own as a barber-surgeon with the support of Robert Holt. He was involved not only in wig making but also in drawing teeth, and in blood taking, a common practice at the time in medicine. On the death of his wife, Richard Arkwright's relationship with Robert Holt broke down, possibly because Holt had never approved of the marriage and blamed Arkwright for her death. Robert Holt erected a memorial for his daughter in Bolton churchyard, which does not mention her husband or son.

On 24 March 1761 Richard married Margaret Biggins of Pennington at Leigh parish church. Their first daughter, Susannah was born on 20 December the same year. Margaret had £400 which the couple used to buy a buy a beer house known as the Black Boy in Bolton but later they sold up to focus on wig making. About this time Arkwright would travel the country, particularly to hiring fairs, to purchase hair from servant girls. He also had a means of dyeing hair.

Developments in Cotton Spinning before Arkwright

In the early 18th century English cotton usually had linen warps and cotton wefts as the thread could not be made strong enough for use as warp. There was usually a shortage of thread as the method of hand spinning produced only one thread at a time. John Wyatt (1700-1766), a carpenter, and Lewis Paul (died 1759), the son of a French emigre, working in Lichfield, invented an apparatus for spinning in 1733. It was patented in 1738. The principle was to draw the fibres through sets of rollers turning at different speeds. It was successful for a time but was superseded by Richard Arkwright's water frame in the 1770s. Paul patented a later spinning machine in 1758 that did not involve rollers and also a carding engine in 1748. John Wyatt later worked at Matthew Boulton's Soho foundry.

According to Baines' History of Lancashire, Laurence Earnshaw of Mottram in Cheshire invented a spinning machine which he demonstrated in 1753. However he destroyed the machine thinking it would deprive the poor of their living.

In 1738, John Kay of Bury, living at that time in Colchester, invented the flying shuttle which doubled the speed of weaving. He returned to Bury and used the process initially for woollen weaving but from 1760 it was extensively used for cotton. Robert Kay, his son, invented the drop box to allow up to three coloured wefts to be used. The increased speed of weaving created a shortage of yarn, which stimulated the development of mechanical spinning.

Thomas Highs, a reed maker of Leigh was a member of the Swedenborgian sect. He worked in 1763/4 with another John Kay, a clock maker of Warrington, and developed a spinning machine using six spindles for converting roving, a loose cotton rope, into weft. Some improvements were made by James Hargreaves of Blackburn to produce the spinning jenny in 1767, which he patented in 1770. This was a hand operated machine with six spindles and by 1788 there were about 20,000 in use. Hargreaves fled Lancashire because of opposition from hand spinners and went to Nottingham. Highs employed Kay to make his double roller system out of metal this involved two pairs of rollers the first turning slower than the second so that the thread was drawn out. The yarn produced was more suitable for warp the product from the spinning jenny was used mainly for weft.

Arkwright's Contribution to Cotton Spinning

In 1767, Arkwright became acquainted with John Kay, the clock maker, who was then working in Warrington. They experimented with ideas for spinning in secret because of the fear of competition. In 1768 Kay and Arkwright moved to Preston. They had financial backing from John Smalley (died 1782) a Preston publican and David Thornley, a merchant in Liverpool. They worked in Preston on their ideas for spinning cotton but in 1768, Arkwright, Kay and Smalley left for Nottingham because of local fears about the impact of such a development. Some of Arkwright's prototypes had been damaged at Chorley and James Hargreaves premises in Blackburn had been attacked. In Nottingham, Arkwright met Ichabod Wright, a timber and iron merchant who had established a bank in 1759. He gave some financial assistance but his role was taken over by two other entrepreneurs. Samuel Need of Nottingham (died 1781) was a mercer and later a banker and Jebediah Strutt (1726-1797) of Derby was a silk mill owner and inventor of the Derby Rib Stocking. A partnership was formed, lasting for fourteen years, and a patent filed in 1769. The first mill was in Woolpack Lane near the Lace Market was horse powered. However, Arkwright would have been aware of the potential for water power from the mill on the river Derwent at Derby which had been used for spinning silk using the invention of Thomas Lombe.

The Cromford mill in Derbyshire, eventually of six storeys, was built in 1771 and was water powered. This was not the Masson Mill, which was built later. Because the spinning frame was driven by water power it became known as the water frame. The new yarn was used initially in stocking making but not by the cotton manufacturing trade in Manchester. This yarn was suitable for warp as well as weft and in 1773 Arkwright produced the first cloth made entirely of cotton. For the making of stockings, fashion demanded fineness and the stocking machines required the thread to be strong. Arkwright's thread was was not quite as fine as the best quality linen thread. Such thread was finally achieved by Crompton's mule. A special act of Parliament was passed 1774 to exempt Arkwright's fabric from the double duty imposed on cottons by an act of 1736. Such taxes were introduced to protect the English woollen trade from the East India Company's importation of cotton. The change in legislation was opposed by the Lancashire manufacturers who were using linen warps. By this stage, Arkwright and his backers had spent £12,000 on capital investment.

Improved spinning put pressure on the earlier processes involved. Carding was initially done by hand using two bats covered in teasel spikes or metal pins. In 1772, John Lees invented the feeder process in which cotton was carded using rollers covered in short pins. In the same year James Hargreaves, of Spinning Jenny fame, invented a process for taking the cotton off a carding cylinder to create a fleece or cardings. The following year Thomas Highs and in 1774 Mr. Wood, came up with perpetual or endless carding. The cardings went to a roving frame of rollers similar to those on a water frame to draw out the threads and give them a slight twist. This created a thick thread with little twist and low strength ready for the final spinning process.

In 1775 Arkwright sought a second patent including many additions for improving the spinning process and preparing the cotton prior to spinning, including carding and roving. This led to a dispute as it was claimed that Arkwright, in including the same process in his second patent, was trying to extend the cover from his first patent. Arkwright built more mills and licensed his methods to other manufacturers. He built a new mill in Chorley which was destroyed by rioters. Arkwright developed the village of Cromford by building houses with a well-lit third storey, many of which survive today, for the use of stocking knitters.

By 1782 there were 5,000 people involved in spinning employing a capital of £200,000. In the same year, Arkwright ended his partnership with Strutt and Need, retaining as his share the mill at Cromford. Arkwright was a relatively benevolent employer for the period. He did not use parish apprentices. Women and children worked in the spinning mill, often for long hours, while the stocking weavers, working in their own homes were men. The houses were in effect tied cottages and tenure depended on remaining a good employee of the Arkwright enterprise. Other services provided included funds to enable the purchase of cows for milking he gave 27 cows to his senior workmen. In addition he was the sponsor of sick clubs and provided some elementary welfare services. There were also holidays, two balls a year at the Greyhound Hotel, and a candle lighting festival with food and drink in September. Pay rates in 1797 are recorded as follows: children from 8 to 14, 1 to 5 shillings adult women, 3 to 5 shillings overseers, 12 shillings a week.

Arkwright expanded his interests very considerably by buying the Willersley estate and manor. In 1788, he purchased the manor of Cromford and began to build a church and Willesley Castle as a residence. In 1790 he obtained a charter for a market at Cromford and he built the Greyhound Inn next to the market place. His second mill of seven storeys was built in 1776. The Masson Mill, powered by the river Derwent, was built of brick after Arkwright acquired the site of a paper mill. The first mill was destroyed by fire in 1777 and completely rebuilt.

The original partners finally split up. Samuel Need died in 1781 and Smalley in 1782. Arkwright and Strutt bought Smalley's share in the partnership from his son for £10,751 and Arkwright bought Strutt out of his share. The latter had a thriving business of his own in stockings with mills in Belper and Milford.

Samuel Crompton invented the 'mule' in 1779. This was combination of Hargreaves' jenny and Arkwright's water-frame. The "mule" vastly increased productivity, making it possible for a single operator to work more than 1,000 spindles simultaneously it was capable of spinning fine as well as coarse yarn. Demand for Crompton's yarn was heavy, but he could not afford a patent. He therefore revealed the machine's secret to a number of manufacturers on the promise that they would pay him. All he received was £60. Years later (in 1812), when there were at least 360 mills using 4,600,000 mule spindles, Parliament granted him £5,000. He used it to enter business, unsuccessfully, first as a bleacher and then as a cotton merchant and spinner. However, Crompton's mule gradually overtook Arkwright's water frame as the preferred method of spinning because of the greater productivity and high quality of the product.

The Legal Challenge to Arkwright's Patents

Arkwright conceded that he was the improver rather than the inventor of the process for producing a coarse thread on spindles. He claimed that this was invented by Hargreaves of Blackburn with his Spinning Jenny. Arkwright's opponents claimed that Thomas Highs had made the inventions and Arkwright had obtained the secret from John Kay, the clock maker. It was also claimed that Arkwright credited Hargreaves with this invention so as to keep his case as remote as possible from Highs who, it was said, invented the water frame too. In 1781 Arkwright brought an action against 9 cotton spinning firms to prevent them infringing his patent: the first was against Colonel Mordaunt. While Mordaunt accepted that he was using Arkwright's method of making yarn he claimed that the patent specification was insufficiently clear to allow anyone to follow it. It is a requirement of a patent that the method must be fully disclosed by the applicant in return for which he receives a monopoly for limited number of years. On this point, Arkwright's case failed and he dropped the other cases.

Arkwright was eager to get his two patents recognised, the first expired in 1783 and the second would expire in 1789. In 1785 he took the case to the court of Common Pleas and won the argument that the invention could be worked from his specification. Witnesses examined included Mr. Harrison the son of the inventor of the marine chronometer, Mr. Cumming a watchmaker, Dr. Darwin and James Watt. This reinstated his monopoly to the alarm of the manufacturers who were infringing. It was estimated that up to 30,000 people were employed in the industry and the owners, who had expanded their business while the patent was believed to be invalid, now faced the possibility of paying royalties. A number combined to challenge the ruling and the case was heard at the court of the King's Bench in June 1785. It would be reasonable to assume that Arkwright's opponents, given the amount of money at stake, left no stone unturned in prosecuting their case.

The key issues were whether the invention was new, invented by Arkwright and adequately described in the specification. His opponents gathered evidence that several elements of his machinery were derived from earlier inventors. Kay the watchmaker and Thomas Highs were called as witnesses. Kay claimed that he had made the original models for the process invented by Highs. However, Kay admitted that he had passed details of Highs' invention to Arkwright. Highs claimed to have made rollers for spinning in 1767 but agreed that they would not have worked. It was not until 1769, when Arkwright had already moved to Nottingham, that Highs hit on the idea of covering the rollers with leather to obtain a superior grip on the yarn. Highs claimed that he was too poor to proceed with his inventions. Under the judge's guidance the jury found against Arkwright and the patent was declared invalid.

Final Years

Despite the loss of his patent coverage in 1785, Arkwright had a leading position in the spinning industry. His headstart gave him an advantage over other manufacturers. In 1784 he visited Scotland to help plan the New Lanark Mills with David Dale. These mills are perhaps best known now for their association with Robert Owen. Arkwright prospered from his own business, from licences for his patents, and from taking shares in other enterprises. By 1788 there were some 143 factories using his technology and he was a shareholder in 110. Of these 22 were in Derbyshire, 17 in Nottinghamshire, 41 in Lancashire, 17 in Wales and 13 in Scotland.

Arkwright built new mills in Lancashire and Derbyshire and in 1790 had a Boulton and Watt steam engine to power his mill in Nottingham. His mill in Manchester was powered from the late 1780s but in differnt sources the date is given as 1786 and 1789. Lewis's Manchester Directory for 1788 shows that Sir Richard Arkwright had a cotton twist warehouse at Cromford Court but the directory does not mention a spinning mill. Arkwright owned land in Manchester and had built the first cotton mill in the town. He had as a neighbour and tenant the firm Quincey and Drake, importers and wholesalers of Irish linen. Quincey settled in Manchester in 1780, but died of tuberculosis aged 38 in 1743, at the house he had built and named Greenway. His son was the author Thomas de Quincy. (Manchester Streets and Manchester Men, seconds series, by T. Swindells, Manchester, 1907.)

Arkwright was knighted in 1786 and became High Sheriff of Derbyshire in 1787. His portrait was painted by Joseph Wright of Derby. He died on 3 August 1792 and was buried intially at St. Giles in Matlock and later at his own chapel, St. Mary's. Arkwright's wife, Margaret, had left him in the 1780 to live in Wirksworth with her daughter, who was Mrs. Charles Hurt. Margaret had had two other daughters, who died in infancy. Margaret lived until 25 December 1811 when she was 79.

Sir Richard's son, Richard, was brought up in the business and given a mill at Bakewell. On his father's death he succeeded to the business empire. He sold some of the mills, became a banker and is said to have doubled his fortune in his lifetime. He was the richest untitled man in England. He died at Willesley on 23 April 1843.

Concluding Remarks

Whenever a great invention is made there is a dispute as to who should take the credit. Frequently an advance comes from putting together a number of smaller steps made by a number of individuals. Often the inventor is not the best person to develop the invention as this needs capital, a knowledge of managing a great project and some business sense. Arkwright's real contribution to the invention of mechanical spinning is not clear as there are competing claims and several authors have been partisan in making their claims for and against Arkwright. What cannot be doubted is that Arkwright put together the various processes needed to turn raw cotton into strong yarn by mechanised processes. Where others had made contributions but failed to patent them or find financial backers, Arkwright had the business sense to see his processes commercialised and built a cotton spinning empire. Other manufacturers wanted to use his processes and Arkwright would frequently grant permission under his patents on the condition that he had a stake in the company. In this way his wealth and influence grew.

The extensive article in the Dictionary of National Biography quotes several sources of information, but does not include two books from the early 19th century which I have consulted. The article claims that Arkwright showed a high level of inventive genius in devising the new way of pulling out thread using two pairs of rollers. It is claimed to be a new principle. The article makes only the briefest mention of the prior work of Wyatt and Paul, who first used rollers for spinning in the 1730s. Wyatt and Paul's work is covered in the Encyclopaedia Britannica. Moreover, in Biographia Borealis, Lives of Distinguished Northerners, by Hartley Coleridge, it is stated in relation to the work of Wyatt and Paul that "no model or description of the machines now remains". This is not true abstracts of the original patent are published and still available for view in the Patent Section of Manchester Central Library!

To a Lancastrian, one of the more surprising features of the development of cotton spinning is that although the main steps were made by Lancashire men, Hargreaves, Highs, Kay, Arkwright, and Crompton they were not initially backed by Lancashire merchants and manufacturers and the first water powered spinning mill was at Cromford in Derbyshire the second was at Belper in the same county.

Arkwright's first steam powered mill was in Nottingham in 1790. Drinkwater's mill in Manchester has a claim to be the first to have a steam engine, in 1789. These were followed rapidly by McConnel Kennedy and the Chorlton Mills in the 1790s. Although Boulton and Watt had patents on their steam engines they had competitors in Sherrat and Bateman in Manchester who pirated some of their inventions and, being based locally, were able to exploit the growing demand from cotton manufacturers.

Dictionary of National Biography.
Cromford, - A History, by Peter J. Naylor, in The Derbyshire Heritage Series, 1999, ISBN 184173-007-6. Chapter 4: The Age of Arkwright.
Biographia Borealis, Lives of Distinguished Northerners, by Hartley Coleridge, published by Whitaker & Treacher, London, Leeds and Bingley, 1833.
A Compendious History of the Cotton Manufacture with a disavowal of the claim of Sir Richard Arkwright, by R. Guest, published by Joseph Pratt, 1823.
Hutchinson Encyclopaedia on CD ROM
Encyclopaedia Britannica on CD ROM
History of the Textile Industry in Manchester, a course of lectures by Chris Makepeace at Wilmslow Guild in 2000.
Four Centuries of Lancashire Cotton, by Geoffrey Timmins, published by Lancashire County Books, 1996, paperback, 92 pages, ISBN 1-871236-41-X. In addition to giving a short but authoritative account of the cotton industry with numerous references to original sources, this book has many illustrations of machinery and mills.
A Cotton Enterprise, 1795-1840, a history of McConnel & Kennedy, fine cotton spinners, by C. H. Lee, published by Manchester University Press, 1972, ISBN 0 7190 0486 1.
Samuel Oldknow and the Arkwrights, the industrial revolution in Marple and Stockport, by George Unwin, first edition 1923, second edition published by Augustus Kelly, New York, 1968.


Samuel Slater

Samuel Slater (1768-1835) became another key figure in the Industrial Revolution when he exported Arkwright's textile innovations to the Americas.

On December 20, 1790, water-powered machinery for spinning and carding cotton was set in motion in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. Based on the designs of English inventor Richard Arkwright, a mill was built by Samuel Slater on the Blackstone River. The Slater mill was the first American factory to successfully produce cotton yarn with water-powered machines. Slater was a recent English immigrant who apprenticed Arkwright's partner, Jebediah Strutt.

Samuel Slater had evaded British law against emigration of textile workers in order to seek his fortune in America. Considered the father of the United States textile industry, he eventually built several successful cotton mills in New England and established the town of Slatersville, Rhode Island.


Lawsuits

Richard Arkwright was an aggressive man, and his employees found it difficult to work under him. His partners felt the same. He bought out his partners and went on to build factories. He hoped to achieve monopoly by obtaining patents for everything, but could not succeed. His patents were opposed, and he was embroiled in court cases.

Thomas Highs also claimed that his ideas were borrowed. Arkwright lost many of his patents but had already made a great deal of money. When he died in 1792, his fortune was about half a million pounds.


Arkwright's legacy

By transferring cotton spinning from the home to huge, powered mills filled with hundreds of workers, Arkwright showed it was possible to set up a purpose-built factory, install a power source, equip it with machinery, hire a workforce and make a profit.

Other factory owners modelled their mills on Arkwright's example. Although his water frame was ultimately replaced by a more advanced spinning machine, the mule, developed in 1775 by Samuel Crompton, Arkwright transformed the cotton industry and made a significant contribution to the growth of the factory system of production which we recognise today.


Business Progress

Richard Arkwright first set up a small factory in Nottingham with John Smalley. Later with the partnership of Jedediah Strutt and Samuel Need he built his first water-powered mill at Cromford in 1771. About 200 people were employed consisting mainly of women and children. He improved his machinery and began setting up more and more mills. In 1776 he established a second larger mill in Cromford. The larger mill at Cromford required more workers and the small town could not meet the demand. Arkwright started to build cottages near the mill.

Richard Arkwright also built the Greyhound Public House. He encouraged weavers with large families to move to Cromford. Over 1,150 of his employees were children. He employed children from the age of seven and sometimes as young as six years. This was increased to ten when he handed over the business to his son. He gave only a week&rsquos holiday in a year. This was on condition that they remained in the village.
In 1777 he leased the Haarlem Mill where he used the steam engine to replenish the mill pond that drove the water wheel.


Sir Richard Arkwright And The Water Frame

In 1769, a machine was patented by Richard Arkwright that would see him go from wig maker to industrial tycoon. His Water Frame brought hydropower to spinning machines, which would enable the devices to turn hundreds of threads into high-quality, low-cost fabrics. His invention was one of the most significant innovations within the textile industry. Unfortunately, the process was entirely automated which also resulted in the exploitation of child labor.

Sir Richard Arkwright (23 December 1732 – 3 August 1792)

The life of Sir Richard Arkwright

Arkwright’s life development was an interesting one. When he was young, he aspired to become a wig maker. After working with Spinning Frames, he saw the opportunity to move into the textile industry. It was this mentality that enabled him to invent the Water Frame and influence the world at the time. The Water Frame was one of the most significant inventions from the Industrial Revolution. It improved upon John Kay’s Spinning Jenny, increasing the productivity of the machines without the need for human labor.

Richard Arkwright was born into a large family. He was the youngest of the thirteen children. Only seven of them survived. Richard was born on the 23rd of December, 1732, in Preston, Lancashire. His father, Thomas, was a tailor and a Preston Guild burgess. The family was quite poor, which was exacerbated by the fact that there were many children to feed. Richard had to do without formal elementary education instead, he was taught at home by his cousin Ellen.

This education was enough for him to learn how to read and write. He had no desire to follow his father’s footsteps as a tailor. He leaned towards being a barber and later a wig maker. It was in this field already that he made some exciting inventions.

Aspiring wig maker

In his teens, Richard started an apprenticeship with a barber where Richard would learn the ropes about the business. He eventually moved to Kirkham and started working for Mr. Nicholson as a barber. Later he became a wig maker. He stayed in Kirkham for a few years before moving to Bolton.

There, in 1750, he started working as a barber in Edward Pollit’s shop. His stay at Pollit’s barbershop was not a long one. Richard was only willing to work on his terms as he wanted to do something different. He saw an opportunity in wig making business. He decided to set up a business in 1754 in Bolton.

Richard Arkwright always had a mentality for inventions. Even in his shop, he always looked for improvements to tools and technology.

It was in Bolton where he met Patience Holt, who he later married in 1755. Patience was the daughter of a schoolmaster. Together, they had only one child – Arkwright named his first son after him. Infelizmente. Patience passed away in 1756, leaving Richard alone with his child. After his wife’s death, Richard was determined to invent something new. He wanted to do this to earn more money and provide for his son.

Remarriage and travel around the country

For a few years after his wife’s death, Richard kept working as a barber. He started studying the art of making wigs. Richard would collect people’s hair and analyze it. In 1761, he met his second wife-to-be, Margaret Biggins. Together, they have three children, but only his eldest daughter would survive childhood.

With this marriage, Richard managed to obtain a decent amount of money, which allowed him to expand his business. He started to become increasingly involved in wig making. In 1762, Arkwright collected enough money to start traveling around the country. On his travels, he continued collecting people’s hair, which may seem strange today. But more importantly, he met many new and influential people from the wig making and textile industry.

Upon returning to Bolton, Arkwright started working on a new method of dying hair for wigs. He thought that the hair wigs weren’t waterproof enough and not resistant to adverse weather conditions. So he developed a way of protecting and dying hair. He then patented the process.

Arkwright’s growing interest in the textile industry

The wig-making business was on the decline. People were no longer interested in wearing wigs. Hair wigs were out of fashion by the time Arkwright managed to patent his waterproofing process. Richard still managed to make a reasonable sum of money from his invention. He also knew it was time to shift his focus to something more profitable.

Arkwright kept traveling around the country, looking for new investment opportunities. From 1765 to 1767, Arkwright would spend most of his time meeting acquaintances, and looking for new ventures.

It was becoming apparent to him that the textile industry was booming. He started looking for skilled weavers and spinners who knew more about the business than himself. As he began to invest in new ideas, Arkwright became an entrepreneur.

He heard in 1762 that someone was looking to make a Spinning Frame. He started exploring this idea and learning more about the concept and who was behind it. In 1767, Arkwright met John Kay, a clockmaker and an inventor who was working on this new concept.

Sir Richard Arkwright and the Water Frame

Arkwright was aggressive as a businessman, so he looked to develop his version of the invention. John Kay, who was working on the spinning frame for some time with his friend, Thomas Highs, was looking for an investor that would push the invention forward. It was the perfect partnership for both parties. Kay and Highs were working on the Spinning Frame for almost a decade, but they never had the financial power to patent the idea in order to turn it into reality.

In 1767, Arkwright decided that he would help the pair with the invention. He was the pushing force behind it, providing Kay with the financial backing as well as the entrepreneurship skills that were required. Arkwright saw a gold mine in this invention, and how right he was. It was this invention that made the names Arkwright, Kay, and Highs famous. The spinning frame was almost ready in 1767, although it needed some further financial investment and some minor improvements.

In 1769, the spinning frame was not yet complete, but Arkwright saw the need to patent the invention to gain the rights to it. Many competitors were looking to steal the idea, so he wanted to patent it before he released it to the public. In 1769, Arkwright patented the Spinning Frame.

How did the Spinning Frame work?

Arkwright commissioned Kay and Highs to create the Water Frame for him. The Spinning Frame, or the Water Frame because a water source powered it, was much more efficient than all previous equipment that was in use during that time.

A Spinning frame used three sets of spinning rollers that turned at various speeds. These rollers would produce a yarn that was thicker and stronger than all thread that was in use before. It would stretch the threads so that it was easier to spin. The yarn then went through spindles to produce a fabric that was far more compact, stretchable, and stronger than ever before. A single spinning frame was able to hold 128 threads of yarn at the same time which made the production of fabric faster. At the same time, the spinning frame was self-sufficient and didn’t require an operator. This efficiency reduced the cost of the textiles produced by the Water Frame.

The whole concept was very revolutionary for the time, and it changed the way the textile industry operated. Workers were no longer required, or at least, not as many as before. At the same time, the high level of quality was more consistent. Productivity increased significantly with the introduction of the Water Frame. As the output numbers grew, the costs of textiles began to decrease.

But the Spinning Frame was still not wholly patented this time, it was Arkwright that would require financial aid. Two entrepreneurs named Need and Strutt provided additional funding. The pair owned a knitting business, and they saw the opportunity to expand their business with the Spinning Frame. They finally patented the Water Frame by the end of the year 1769.

Many factories used water to power machines before the twentieth century

The Introduction of the Water Wheel

The Spinning Frame still had a few difficulties and shortcomings. The biggest weakness of the initial design was that it was too large to be operated by hand or by a single worker. Arkwright and the others started to look for solutions.

They first started experimenting with horses. They used horsepower to power the machine, but the power output was insufficient and very inconvenient. In 1771, they came up with the idea of powering it with a water wheel. It was to be the perfect solution for the Spinning Frame and inspire its new name as the Water Frame. The water wheel provided enough power for the Spinning Frame to work efficiently.

Arkwright went on to establish a mill in Cromford, where he would use his newly-designed Water Frame. There, he had the opportunity to test the new machine and see it in action. It turned out to be a very successful design that produced a much higher quality of yarn while working much faster and without the need to employ more workers.

Richard Arkwright’s Water Frame

Arkwright’s later life

Richard Arkwright earned a fortune with his Water Frame. Although he did not possess the same engineering skills as other innovators during that time, he did have a strong instinct for business opportunities.

The Water Frame turned out to be very successful, and it soon required Arkwright to expand his Cromford mill. He designed his factory in the most efficient way possible. A new concept and techniques called the Factory System ensured an even further increase in production. It was not the first Factory System, as one was established earlier by Matthew Boulton. Many businesses employed Boulton’s techniques in the 18th and 19th centuries.

This efficiency in manufacturing meant that skilled workers were no longer required. Arkwright was able to employ unskilled workers, women, and children in his factories. Costs were lower, while productivity increased. This increase in productivity allowed Arkwright’s factory to expand almost yearly.

By now, you may be wondering about the issues surrounding child labor of the 18th and 19th centuries. An 1870 census found that 1 out of every 8 children was working in some form or another. Much of this was due to the extreme poverty of the times. Families with many children often sent their kids to factories so they could earn money to help support their siblings. While today’s laws protect against this type of exploitation, it was innovations like the Water Frame that allowed greedy factory owners to take advantage of these poor families. Since skilled labor was no longer required to operate complex machinery, just about anyone could do the labor.

Conclusão

Sir Richard Arkwright and his patent were one of the inventions that changed the world. The Water Frame was another essential innovation that helped lead the industrial revolution. It also changed the textile industry forever. It was Akrwright’s business acumen, aggressiveness, and ability to see potential in designs that enabled this invention.

What can we learn from Sir Richard Arkwright and the Water Frame?

One thing that Arkwright did was to always look for improvements and inventions. When he was a wig maker, he saw the need to improve current machinery and equipment. It was an attitude that served him well in his life.

As an inventor, you must assume the mentality of always seeing where you can improve the current equipment in your field. of interest. Inventing new things requires a high level of understanding of existing materials, designs, and manufacturing processes.

It is a good idea to learn as many new trades and skills as possible during your lifetime. Seeking knowledge will ensure you will always have an endless supply of new ideas.

Are you ready to become an inventor?

Getting your idea out of your head and into your hands is only the first in a long set of steps towards becoming a successful inventor.

First Steps To A Successful Invention

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