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Richard Arkwright (1732-1792)

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Cromford Coursework: Richard Arkwright (1732-1792) By Ameen Ahmed 11B Contents Page I: Front Page Page II: Contents Page III: Introduction Page IV: Cromford Village Page VII: Cromford Mill Page XI: Conclusion Page XII: Bibliography Introduction Sir Richard Arkwright, the inventor of the water frame was born in Preston in 1732. Sir Richard lived in Rock House which overlooked the mill. Richard Arkwright was knighted by George III and had two daughters and one son in his first marriage. He went to Cromford at the age of 39 in 1771 and established Cromford Mill what became the first ever successful water powered cotton spinning mill. As a young man Richard Arkwright worked as barber and made and sold wigs across the country. In 1768, he and John Kay, perfected the voll- er spinning device, this came to be known as the water frame. Sir Richard Arkwright patented the inve- ntion a year later and set up a horse- powered mill in Nottingham. He then went seeking a greater source of power, built a mill powered by water in Cromford in 1771. This was a huge success and in 1786, Richard Arkwright became Sir Richard Arkwright and was made High Sheriff of Derby- shire. Sir Richard Arkwright sadly Sir Richard Arkwright by Joseph Wright of Derby, 1790 passed away in 1792 at the age of 59. ...read more.


There is a strong possibility that the first wheel was situated at the end of the original building where the Bonsall Brook may have run through. The second wheel was located mid-way down the original building; there is site evidence to support where the wheel was situated. There is the brick work, algae and scratches on the wall, and lack of windows to support this. The second wheel was also an undershot wheel until the wheel was moved into the corner and the undershot was replaced with an overshot wheel. A wooden aqueduct was added later in 1786 but was replaced in 1821 by an iron one. There were different bricks to support the aqueduct, blocked up windows, bricks on adjacent warehouse to support shaft and algae on the walls. The third wheel was situated at the end of the extension, this was also an overshot wheel. The evidence supporting this is the wheel pit at the end of the building, there are bricked up holes for beams, algae and marks on the wall and no windows. The extension was added in the mid 1780s, there is an evident vertical line towards the right of the mil to show the extension. Two of the three water wheels were added during the extension but were destroyed long ago. ...read more.


The key feature of Arkwright's machine was the rollers. Arkwright used three sets of paired rollers all turning at different speeds. Many other people experimented with the roller Spinning Machine spinning but it was Arkwright who perfected it. He realised you had to have the rollers a certain distance apart, if they were too close, the rollers would grip both ends of the same cotton fibre and snap it. If they were too far apart, it would not grip properly and produce uneven, lumpy yarn. Sir Richard Arkwright's new process of roller spinning was a major success because it enabled much larger quantities of cotton to be spun more quickly. Conclusion Cromford Mill was not the only building Sir Richard Arkwright built. Arkwright went on to build factories in Derbyshire, Lancashire, Staffordshire and Scotland. British laws made sure that Arkwright was not able to sell his technical information and his own machinery overseas. Even without this, Arkwright died a wealthy man and this is able to see with the large number of buildings and churches Arkwright built which are still being preserved by many societies. Arkwright built houses for his workers and a grand castle for himself. Sir Richard Arkwright's success did not go unrecognised, he was knighted in 1786 and made High Sheriff of Derbyshire. Sir Richard Arkwright is still remembered and his name lives on in the industrialised world. ...read more.

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