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Anderson, Sir John (1814–1886), inventor of ordnance manufacture machinery and arsenal manager, was born at Woodside, near Aberdeen, on 9 December 1814, the posthumous child of a local merchant, J. Anderson, and his wife, Helen Hosie. His mother remarried and his stepfather, Irvine Kempt...

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Archdale, James (1839–1925), machine tool manufacturer, was born at Low Goslam, Rothwell, near Leeds, West Riding of Yorkshire, on 20 November 1839, the son of William Archdale (1797/8–1882), coal miner and later a mechanic and market gardener, and his wife, Rachel, née Atkinson (1801/2–1861)...

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Sir Richard Arkwright (1732–1792) by Joseph Wright of Derby, 1789–90 private collection; photograph © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Arkwright, Sir Richard (1732–1792), inventor of cotton-spinning machinery and cotton manufacturer, was born on 23 December 1732 at Preston, Lancashire, the sixth of the seven children of Thomas Arkwright (1691–1753), a tailor, and his wife, Ellen Hodgkinson (1693–1778). The family was rooted in ...

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Aveling, Thomas (1824–1882), engineer and manufacturer of steamrollers, was born at Elm, near Wisbech, on 11 September 1824, the eldest of three sons. He came from an old-established Cambridgeshire family, but he moved to Rochester in Kent as a boy, when his widowed mother remarried. About 1836 he was apprenticed to a farmer, ...

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Baird, Charles (1766–1843), engineer and manufacturer of steam-driven machinery, was born on 20 December 1766 at Westertown, near Carron, Stirlingshire, one of the ten children of Nicol Baird, superintendent of the Firth and Clyde Canal, and his wife, Christian. In 1782 he was apprenticed to the ...

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Patrick Bell (1799–1869) by unknown engraver, pubd 1868 (after E. Strachan) © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Bell, Patrick (1799–1869), Church of Scotland minister and inventor of agricultural machinery, was born in April 1799 at mid-Leoch, in the parish of Auchterhouse, a few miles north-west of Dundee. He was one of at least two sons of George Bell, a tenant farmer at ...

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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 ...

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Boulton, Matthew (1728–1809), manufacturer and entrepreneur, was born on 14 September 1728 at New Hall Walk, Snow Hill, Birmingham, one of four children, three of whom survived to adulthood, of Matthew Boulton (d. 1759), toy manufacturer and merchant, and his wife, Christiana Piers (...

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Brookes, Raymond Percival, Baron Brookes (1909–2002), industrialist, was born on 10 April 1909 at 3 Bernard Street, West Bromwich, Staffordshire, the son of William Percival Brookes (1884–1918), a grocer's traveller, and his wife, Ursula Rosina, née Butler. He left West Bromwich Lodge Estate School...

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See Bullough, John

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See Bullough, John

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Bullough, John (1836/7–1891), textile machinery manufacturer, was baptized at Blackburn on 10 December 1837, the third son of James Bullough (1799–1868) and his wife, Martha, née Mellor. In becoming a textile machinery maker, John Bullough had before him the example of his father, whose inventions greatly improved the powered weaving of cloth. ...

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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

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Sir William Cubitt (1785–1861) by Samuel Bellin (after Sir William Boxall, exh. RA 1849) © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Cubitt, Sir William (1785–1861), civil engineer and millwright, was born at Dilham, Norfolk, the son of Joseph Cubitt, miller, and his wife, Hannah, née Lubbock. He was educated at Dilham village school, and also had access to the libraries of two local clergymen, ...

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Davidson, Sir Samuel Cleland (1846–1921), inventor of tea processing machinery and manufacturer, was born on 18 November 1846 at Ballymachan Farm, near Belfast, the youngest of the seven children of James Davidson (1799–1869), corn miller, and his wife, Mary Taylor (1808–1896), also of Irish stock. Until the age of fifteen ...

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Dobson, Sir Benjamin Alfred (1847–1898), textile machinery manufacturer, was born on 27 October 1847 at Douglas, Isle of Man, the eldest son of Arthur Dobson (1825–c.1876) and Henrietta Elizabeth, née Harrison. He was a direct descendant of the Dobsons of Westmorland...