John Kay (flying shuttle)

Infobox Person
name = John Kay

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caption =John Kay
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birth_date = June 17, 1704
birth_place = Bury, Lancashire, England
death_date = 1780
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nationality = England
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known_for = flying shuttle
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John Kay (June 17, 1704 – 1780) was the inventor of the flying shuttle, which was a key contribution to the Industrial Revolution.He was born in Bury, Lancashire, England. The flying shuttle greatly accelerated the speed at which weaving could be performed by allowing the shuttle carrying the weft to be passed through the warp threads more quickly and over a greater width of cloth. The production of cotton yarn was generally insufficient to keep up with the demand for hand-loom weavers, so his invention was not appreciated by weavers who thought it would steal their jobs; consequently he was persecuted and his constructions were damaged or destroyed. He fled England to France to try and sell his invention in that market, but he failed there as well and died from being poor. His son Robert stayed in England, and developed the drop box, which allowed looms to use wefts of multiple colours. Ford Madox Brown portrayed Kay and his invention in a mural painting in Manchester Town Hall.

This John Kay should not be confused with the clockmaker from Warrington who was associated with Richard Arkwright in the invention of the spinning frame.

Some sources claim that John Kay had a connection with Colchester in Essex.Whilst Colchester had a long association with weaving and the wool trade this link seems to rely on an 1848 source (White's History Gazetteer and Directory of the County of Essex) which has been repeated uncritically by later writers. There is an exploration of this in an article by Don Scott in the Essex Journal (Spring 2008 pages 6-9) which finds no independent evidence of the Colchester connection.This article also explores the archives of the Royal Society of Arts and their dealings with John Kay.

External links

* [ Essay on John Kay and the flying shuttle]
* [ Essay from the "Cotton Times"]
* [ Essay on the two John Kays of the Industrial Revolution]
* [ Cotton Town website]

NAME= Kay, John
DATE OF BIRTH= June 23, 1704
PLACE OF BIRTH= Bury, Lancashire, England

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • John Kay — A number of people have been called John Kay:*John Kay (flying shuttle) (1704 ndash;1780), English inventor of textile machinery, notably the flying shuttle *John Kay (spinning frame) (17?? ndash;17??), English developer of textile machinery,… …   Wikipedia

  • John Kay (spinning frame) — John Kay was a clockmaker from Warrington, Lancashire, England. He is known by association with Thomas Highs and later Richard Arkwright for the scandal associated with the invention of the spinning frame in 1767: an important stage in the… …   Wikipedia

  • Flying shuttle — The flying shuttle was developed by John Kay (1704 1764). In 1733 he invented one of the key developments in weaving that helped fuel the Industrial Revolution. When weaving on a loom, the shuttle carries the weft yarn across the loom through the …   Wikipedia

  • flying shuttle — Machine that represented an important step toward automatic weaving. It was invented by John Kay in 1733. In previous looms, the shuttle was thrown, or passed, through the threads by hand, and wide fabrics required two weavers seated side by side …   Universalium

  • Kay (surname) — Kay is a surname, and may refer to* Alan Kay, American computer scientist and visionary * Alexander Kay, British television presenter * Andrew Kay, American computer company CEO * Antony Kay, English footballer (see also Tony Kay below) * Barry… …   Wikipedia

  • Kay (of Bury), John — SUBJECT AREA: Textiles [br] b. 16 July 1704 Walmersley, near Bury, Lancashire, England d. 1779 France [br] English inventor of the flying shuttle. [br] John Kay was the youngest of five sons of a yeoman farmer of Walmersley, near Bury, Lancashire …   Biographical history of technology

  • Kay, John — born July 16, 1704, near Bury, Lancashire, Eng. died 1764?, France British machinist and engineer. In 1733 he received a patent for a New Engine or Machine for Opening and Dressing Wool that incorporated his flying shuttle, an important step… …   Universalium

  • Kay, Robert — SUBJECT AREA: Textiles [br] b. probably before 1747 d. 1801 Bury, Lancashire, England [br] English inventor of the drop box, whereby shuttles with different wefts could be stored and selected when needed. [br] Little is known about the early life …   Biographical history of technology

  • Shuttle (weaving) — A shuttle is a tool designed to neatly and compactly store weft yarn while weaving. Shuttles are thrown or passed back and forth through the shed, between the yarn threads of the warp in order to weave in the weft.The simplest shuttles, known as… …   Wikipedia

  • loom — loom1 /loohm/, n. 1. a hand operated or power driven apparatus for weaving fabrics, containing harnesses, lay, reed, shuttles, treadles, etc. 2. the art or the process of weaving. 3. the part of an oar between the blade and the handle. v.t. 4. to …   Universalium

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