Power loom

The first power loom, a mechanized loom powered by a drive shaft, was designed in 1784 by Edmund Cartwright and first built in 1785, later to be perfected by William Horrocks. It allowed textile making to be done far faster than if a human had done the same work. By 1850, Cartwright's designs were used in over 250,000 machines in England. In 1894 James Henry Northrop emigrated to the USA from Keighley, Yorkshire, England he worked for the Draper Corporation of Hopedale, Massachusetts. His invention of the automatic "weft replenishment" loom revolutionized the weaving industry. Some 700,000 "Northrop" automatic looms were sold worldwide.

Though it eventually became one of the most important inventions in the industrial revolution, it was initially limited by its reliance on water power, which required workshops equipped with power looms to be located near a source of running water. By the start of the 19th century, however, steam power had advanced enough to allow the use of this technology anywhere. Cartwright profited greatly from this, selling hundreds of his looms to Manchester firms.

Francis Cabot Lowell travelled to Great Britain in 1810 to study the textile industry there. He paid particular attention to the workings of the power loom, a device for which there was still no equal in North America. On his return trip, he had to memorize the plans for the machine, as the British had banned the export of the new technology. On his return trip to Boston, he put together a group of investors, and sought the assistance of a brilliant master mechanic named Paul Moody. By 1815, Moody had built and perfected the first power loom in the Western Hemisphere at Waltham, Massachusetts. [ [http://books.google.com/books?id=J9nXHgKQ49EC&pg=PA952&dq=paul+moody&lr=&sig=ACfU3U1QFsoCOFVPiQ2B6IcvlgwE6BN8vQ Paul Moody bio] ]

Originally, power looms used a shuttle to throw the weft across, but in the early part of the 20th century the faster and more efficient shuttleless loom came into use. Today, advances in technology have produced a variety of looms designed to maximize production for specific types of material. The most common of these are air-jet looms and water-jet looms. Computer-driven looms are now also available to individual home weavers.

ee also

* Textile manufacture during the Industrial Revolution
* Timeline of clothing and textiles technology
* Paul Moody


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Power loom — Power Pow er, n. [OE. pouer, poer, OF. poeir, pooir, F. pouvoir, n. & v., fr. LL. potere, for L. posse, potesse, to be able, to have power. See {Possible}, {Potent}, and cf. {Posse comitatus}.] 1. Ability to act, regarded as latent or inherent;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Power-loom — (engl., spr. paúer lūm), »Kraftstuhl«, mechanischer Webstuhl, s. Weben …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Power-loom — Power loom, s. Weberei …   Lexikon der gesamten Technik

  • Power Loom — Abbildungen von Power Looms aus Meyers Konversationslexikon. Der Power Loom und in der deutschen Übersetzung Kraftstuhl war die Bezeichnung für die 1785 von Edmond Cartwright erfundene Webmaschine mit einem Antrieb durch eine Kraftmaschine. Der… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • power loom — noun a loom operated mechanically • Hypernyms: ↑loom * * * power drill, power lathe, power loom or power press noun A drill, lathe, loom or press worked by electricity or other form of power such as water or steam • • • Main Entry: ↑power * * * …   Useful english dictionary

  • power-loom — /pow euhr loohm /, n. a loom operated by mechanical or electrical power. [1800 10] * * * …   Universalium

  • power loom — /ˈpaʊə lum/ (say powuh loohm) noun a loom worked by mechanical power …   Australian English dictionary

  • power-loom — /pow euhr loohm /, n. a loom operated by mechanical or electrical power. [1800 10] …   Useful english dictionary

  • power loom — Edmund Cartwright …   Inventors, Inventions

  • Power Loom Tenters' Trade Union of Ireland — The Power Loom Tenters Trade Union of Ireland was a trade union in the United Kingdom. It merged with the Transport and General Workers Union in 1937.ee also* List of trade unions * Transport and General Workers Union * TGWU amalgamations …   Wikipedia

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