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Well, he was one of the people who was crucual to the development of the Industrial Revolution. He invented the spinning frame, the first machine that could produce cotton thread of sufficient tenuity and strength to be used as warp. He set up one of the first factories, in Derbyshire in 1771.

However, his inventions were very unpopular with working people who saw him as a threat to their livelihood, since his inventions diminished the need for labour. The changeover from small-scale to large-scale production of textiles had a devestating effect on the lives of many people who were redundant as a result of his inventions. No longer able to produce textiles for sale in their own homes, they were either without work ,or forced to go and work in one of the new factories working long hours for small wages.

In 1770, his large mill at Chorley was destroyed by a mob of rioters protesting at the effect his inventions were having on their lives.

I would say that his inventions probably made him popular with manufacturers, and were ultimately responsible for enabling people to buy goods much more cheaply (mass produced items are always cheaper than those produced by small-scale specialist craftspeople), but he attracted a great deal of hostility from working people whose lives had been adversely affected by him.

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2012-03-07 07:48:42
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2020-06-16 11:42:27


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