John Lombe

John Lombe was a silk spinner in 18th century Derby, England.

He was born in Norwich in approximately 1693 the son of a worsted weaver.

He was a younger half-brother of Thomas Lombe, who after his death would go on to amass a fortune as a silk merchant in Norwich and London.

In the early 1700s, the centre for producing silk stockings by framework knitting had moved to the Midlands from London and the demand for spun silk was outstripping demand.

Thomas Lombe's brother John had obtained employment at and abortive silk mill built in Derby by the well-known inventor and engineer George Sorocold for the silk "spinner" Thomas Cotchett of Derby. The mill was built on the River Derwent in the city of Derby. It may have been the first instance of workers being gathered under one roof to work machinery driven by an inanimate power source.

The Italians had been using power spinning since the early 1600s, with a description published by Vittorio Zonca Leonardo Da Vinci had sketched a similar model, but Zonca's was more complete; it is unknown if there was contact. John was sent by his brother to investigate the Italian machines spinning fine organzine thread. As the story goes, he obtained employment at one of the Italian shops where the secret silk-throwing machinery was used. He stole into the shops at night and carefully diagrammed them by candlelight. He then brought the designs back to England around 1717.

In 1718, Thomas Lombe was able to obtain a patent, which stated that it was for:

"three sorts of engines never before made or used within this our Kingdom of Great Britain, one to wind finest raw silk, another to spin and the other to twist the finest Italian raw silk into organzine in great perfection which was never before done in this our Kingdom, by which means many thousand families of our subjects may be constantly employed in Great Britain, be furnished with silks of all sorts of the manufacture of our subjects, and great quantities exported into foreign parts by being made as good and cheap as any foreign silk can be."

He engaged Sorocold to build a new larger mill on the site of the old one in Derby, completed in 1722, the year of John's death. John died suddenly. He is suspected to have been poisoned by a "suspicious" woman, presumably from Italy, who had appeared shortly before his death.

Thomas Lombe was knighted in 1727. In 1732 the patent expired and his request for an extension was turned down. It was arguably the first successful powered continuous production unit in the world; the archetype of Richard Arkwright's later cotton mill at Cromford and the Derwent Valley Mills which marked the beginning of the factory system.

In recognition of his achievement he was given a grant of £14,000 to prepare a model of his machine which was displayed in the Tower of London for the benefit of other aspiring manufacturers. He died in 1739 and the building was sold to Samuel Lloyd and William Wilson. It continued to spin silk until 1890 when it partly collapsed.

The mill then passed through several hands and has been rebuilt several times, but the modified structure still exists and has been restored to house the Derby Industrial Museum.

References

*Cooper, B., (1983) "Transformation of a Valley: The Derbyshire Derwent" Heinemann, republished 1991 Cromford: Scarthin Books

Persondata
NAME=Lombe, John
ALTERNATIVE NAMES=
SHORT DESCRIPTION=Silk manufacturer
DATE OF BIRTH=1693
PLACE OF BIRTH=
DATE OF DEATH=1722
PLACE OF DEATH=Derby, England


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • John Lombe — (* um 1693 in Norwich, Großbritannien; † 20. November 1722 in Derby, Großbritannien) war ein englischer Seiden Produzent und Industriespion des 18. Jahrhunderts. Er stammte aus einer Familie, die schon lange in der Woll und Seidenweberei tätig… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • John Lombe — Portrait de John Lombe sur le pont d Exeter à Derby. John Lombe est un filateur de soie anglais du XVIIIe siècle. Biographie John Lombe est né à Norwich autour de 1693, d un père …   Wikipédia en Français

  • John Lombe — Retrato de John Lombe de la Exeter Puente en Derby. John Lombe fue un hilandero de seda del siglo XVIII en Derby, Inglaterra. Nació en Norwich, aproximadamente en 1693, hijo de un tejedor. Hermano de Thomas Lombe, quien tras su muerte haría… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Lombe — oder Lombé ist der Name von Carl Lombé (* 1986), armenischer Fußballspieler kamerunischer Herkunft John Lombe ( 1693 1722), englischer Industrieller aus der Textilindustrie und Industriespion Diese Seite ist eine Begriffsklärun …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • John Mawe — Or et diamants, d après le livre de John Mawe Voyages dans l intérieur du Brésil (1812) illustré par James Sowerby[1] Naissance …   Wikipédia en Français

  • John Raphael Smith — Sculpture de John Raphael Smith faite par Chantry, au Victoria and Albert Museum …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Lombe, John — SUBJECT AREA: Textiles [br] b. c. 1693 probably Norwich, England d. 20 November 1722 Derby, England [br] English creator of the first successful powered textile mill in Britain. [br] John Lombe s father, Henry Lombe, was a worsted weaver who… …   Biographical history of technology

  • John Farey (1766-1826) — Pour les articles homonymes, voir John Farey. John Farey au Derby Museum. Cette silhouette a été réalisé par son ami White Watson et le QR Code que l on peut vo …   Wikipédia en Français

  • John Whitehurst — Portrait de John Whitehurst par Joseph Wright of Derby (Derby Museum and Art Gallery). John Whitehurst (10 avril 1713 – 18 février 1788), originaire du comté de Cheshire, est un horloger et un scientifique anglais qui contribua de façon notable… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • John Haslem — Lady Cecilia Lennox (miniature sur porcelaine) John Haslem (1808 1884) est un peintre sur porcelaine et émail et écrivain anglais. Il peignit plusieurs miniatures de la reine Victoria, de la famille royale et d autres nobles …   Wikipédia en Français


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.