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Article

Appold, John George (1800–1865), fur dyer and engineer, was born on 14 April 1800 at 23 Wilson Street, Finsbury Square, London, the third of seven children of Christian Appold, (1758/9–1834), fur dyer, and his first wife Hannah née Titford (1771/2–1810...

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Bell, Thomas (fl. 1783–1784), inventor of cylinder printing in the textile industry, was probably born in Scotland. He became a copperplate-engraver and printer, and by the 1780s he was living at Mosney, then at Walton-le-Dale, near Preston, an important region of calico printing. His move to ...

Article

Crompton, Samuel (1753–1827), inventor of the spinning mule, was born at Firwood Fold, Tonge, near Bolton, Lancashire, on 3 December 1753, the eldest son of George Crompton (1726–1758) and Elizabeth Holt (1725–1799) of nearby Turton. Firwood Farm had been held by Cromptons since Tudor times; ...

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Samuel Crompton (1753–1827) by Samuel William Reynolds senior, pubd 1828 (after Charles Allingham) © National Portrait Gallery, London

Article

Duncan, John (1794–1881), hand-loom weaver and botanist, was born on 19 December 1794 at Stonehaven, Kincardineshire, the illegitimate son of John Duncan, weaver and soldier, from Drumlithie, and Ann Caird (c.1773–c.1830), also of Drumlithie, who decided to support herself and her child by weaving stockings and harvesting at nearby ...

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John Duncan (1794–1881) by unknown engraver, c. 1865–6 © National Portrait Gallery, London

Article

Richard Garnett

revised by Giles Hudson

Garnett, Thomas (1799–1878), textile manufacturer and naturalist, was the son of William Garnett, paper manufacturer, and Mary, née Rhodes, and the younger brother of Richard Garnett (1789–1850) and Jeremiah Garnett (1793–1870). The ninth of eleven children, he was born at Otley, Yorkshire, on 18 January 1799. In his early days he supported himself by weaving pieces on his own account, but about 1820 he obtained employment in the cotton-spinning establishment of ...

Article

Hargreaves, James (bap. 1721, d. 1778), inventor of the spinning jenny, was born in Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire, and baptized at Church Kirk on 8 January 1721. His exact birthplace is unknown, and apart from the fact that he became a hand-loom weaver, little has been discovered of his early life. His parents had one other child, ...

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John Kay (1704–178081) by unknown engraver Science & Society Picture Library

Article

Kay, John (1704–1780/81), inventor of textile manufacturing machinery, was born at Park Farm in the township of Walmersley in the parish of Bury, Lancashire, on 16 July 1704, the fifth son of Robert Kay (1651–1704) and his wife, Ellen, née Entwistle, of Quarlton...

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Lister, Samuel Cunliffe-, first Baron Masham (1815–1906), inventor of textile machinery, born at Calverly Hall, near Bradford, on 1 January 1815, was the fourth son in the large family of Ellis Cunliffe Lister-Kay (d. 1854) of Manningham and Farfield, and his second wife, ...

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Samuel Cunliffe Lister, first Baron Masham (1815–1906) by Frank Holl, 1882 private collection. Photograph: Photographic Survey, Courtauld Institute of Art, London

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Charles Macintosh (1766–1843) by unknown engraver © National Portrait Gallery, London

Article

Macintosh, Charles (1766–1843), manufacturing chemist and inventor of mackintosh waterproof fabrics, was born in Glasgow on 29 December 1766, the son of George Macintosh (d. 1807) of Glasgow, merchant, and his wife, Mary Moore (d. 1808). His maternal uncle was John Moore (1729–1802)...

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Martin, John (1783–1855), botanist and hand-loom weaver, was born on 17 November 1783 in Tyldesley, Lancashire, the son of a poor shopkeeper and farmer. He lived with his parents, of whom little is known, until about 1802, during which time he received some schooling and began weaving. When he was fifteen he became intensely religious, advocating voluntary poverty. None the less, when his father began losing property to creditors, ...

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Morton, Sir James (1867–1943), textile and dyestuffs manufacturer, was born on 24 March 1867, at Darvel, Ayrshire, the third of nine children in the family of Alexander Morton (1844–1923) and his wife, Jean, née Wiseman (1844/5–1924). Alexander (1844–1923), of hand-loom weaving stock, was the leading entrepreneur in the factory production of lace, mainly for curtains. He had also pioneered direct selling to retailers and diversified into heavier decorative materials, including machine-made carpets. ...

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Nowell, John (1802–1867), weaver and bryologist, was born at Springs, near Todmorden, Yorkshire, the illegitimate son of William Midgley, smallholder and publican at Kebcote, and Miriam Nowell (c.1781–1852). He lived with his grandparents and, other than a short attendance at Sunday school, received no education until, aged twenty, he joined a grammar class held at ...

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Smith, James, of Deanston (1789–1850), textile industrialist and agricultural engineer, was born in Glasgow on 3 January 1789, the son of a Glasgow merchant of a Galloway family, who died two months after his birth. He was brought up by his maternal uncle, ...

Article

Stringfellow, John (1799–1883), bobbin manufacturer and aeronautical engineer, was born in Attercliffe, near Sheffield, on 6 December 1799, the son of William Stringfellow, cutler, and his wife, Martha. His father was a man of wide scientific interests from whom he inherited a considerable degree of mechanical aptitude and ingenuity....

Article

Whinfield, John Rex (1901–1966), textile chemist, was born on 16 February 1901 at Brambletye, Cavendish Road, Sutton, Surrey, the son of John Henry Richard Whinfield, mechanical engineer, and his wife, Edith Matthews. He was educated at Merchant Taylors' School and Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge...