Sir Richard Arkwright (1732-1792), English inventor and a manufacturing pioneer who was a central figure of the Industrial Revolution in England and Scotland. While working with John Kay, a British clockmaker, Arkwright developed a mechanical machine for spinning cotton, which was then a laborious process traditionally done in small homes and farms. He established a water-powered spinning factory in 1771, and another, using steam power, in 1790. Through Arkwright's developments, cotton could be spun at a very rapid rate, which helped to jump-start other innovations in the field of textiles. The invention also allowed Arkwright’s factories to successfully compete with Indian calico manufacturers. Arkwright sold licenses to other groups of capitalists who wished to build mills using his designs. As a result, he became one of the first wealthy industrialists.
- The Cotton Times, Understanding the Industrial Revolution. Sir Richard Arkwright and the water frame.
- The History Guide. The Origins of the Industrial Revolution in England.