Sir Richard Arkwright (3 January 1733 – 3 August 1792) was an English inventor and a leading entrepreneur during the early Industrial Revolution.
He invented the spinning frame. This was later called the water frame after the change to water power. Arkwright patented the technology in 1767.
A self-made man, Arkwright's achievement was to combine power, machinery, and semi-skilled labour. In the new cotton industry, this created mass production more than a century before Henry Ford.
Arkwright had great mechanical abilities and a genius for organisation. This made him, more than anyone else, the creator of the modern factory system. The water frame is still used today.
Arkwright was born in Preston, Lancashire, England and died in Cromford, Derbyshire at the age of 59.
- ↑ Richard L. Hills 1979. Hargreaves, Arkwright and Crompton. Why three inventors?. Textile history 10 1 : 114-126.