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The Power Loom

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Katrina Wong

on 12 June 2015

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Transcript of The Power Loom

The Power Loom
-The most powerful invention in the Industrial Revolution

Why was it invented?
Before the power loom was invented, people used hand loom to weave or even by hands in families. This was a massive hassle for many as not many were skilled. It was a long and slow process even for skilled workers. Also due to many of the new inventions in the Industrial Revolution which included new professions and jobs, more and more people moved from countries to cities in a search for jobs and careers beyond agriculture. Many people had less time to spend on more old fashioned things as the time was growing and mordernizing. New things were required and weaving was a very old tradition, weaving couldn't produce good textile and cloth to meet the new demand and factories couldn't produce enough for the growing population. The skilled workers couldn't even produce better quality as they were prone to mistakes. The power loom was then the solution and was one of the key invention in the Industrial Revolution, although it did not reach its full potential until 25 years later when it was improved. The power loom allowed large amounts of cloth to be made in a shorter time than a human could do it.

About the inventor
When and general information.
The power loom was invented 1785 by inventor Edmund Cartwright. Edmund Cartwright first set up his own factory in Doncaster and invented the power loom in 1985. Edmund Cartwright was a very creative and clever inventor that also invented many other things. While the power loom was still improving, he was also working on another invention, the wool-combing machine. and others. Several other inventors started to work further on Edmund Cartwright's power loom and improve it. Due to the other inventor's improvements, the power loom then began a success in 1820 and within 50 years, many looms were planted around the world and grew by 100 fold alone. His invention was an essential to textile and factory work. It was faster and more efficient than regular weaving.
What is it?
Impact of the invention
With the introduction of the power loom, weaving became a much simpler and easy task in which unskilled workers can easily operate a loom in a short amount of time. The power loom was the first machine that rapidly increased the speed of the production of cloth, which then boosted the American economy. This invention really had a huge impact to modern society by having a way for technology that could allow for cheap, easy to produce cloth. Clothing became more affordable and we should be thankful for that. Today we can purchase luxurious clothing at relatively low prices, due to inventions like the power loom during the Industrial Revolution. Not only did this clever invention help the economy, but it strongly affected the lives of the workers. Girls that worked in mills were grateful for the opportunity that they were allowed to work and weren't given dreadful work that normally happens. The environment was more safer and less labour was happening. Due to the power loom, it fufilled the modern people's needs and was a boosting point to more inventions that came after that. Around the 19th century, health conditions for the workers, improved immensely and population started to grow. It really changed the standards of living and was a turning progress in the textiles industry.

The power loom is a steam-powered invention and it is a mechanically operated version of a regular loom, it combines threads to make cloth. In the Industrial Revolution, the power loom was a useful machine for weaving yarn or thread into textiles. The power loom mechanized the whole process, which was a huge burden off the worker's shoulders, it reduced the need of humans to do the weaving process itself. The power loom uses a drive shaft for power.There are many different types of looms, as the original one had a lot of flaws and needed improvements. There are the hand loom, frame loom, and shuttle loom. The hand loom is manually operated and the shuttle loom has a shuttle built in the loom. Power looms work more quickly than hand-driven looms and normal hand weaving.
Edmund Cartwright was born on 24 April 1743 in Nottinghamshire and was a son of a landowner. He was educated in Oxford University and also graduated there as well. After that, he went on to become an English inventor. In 1784, he visited Richard Arkwright's cotton-spinning mills at Cromford in Derbyshire and was in awe of the work which later on inspired him to create a machine set on weaving. He immediately went to work and in 1785, the first power loom was patented. Cartwright then set up his factory in Doncaster for his looms but it didn't go any further industry and business wise. I 1790, a Manchester company purchased 400 of his looms, but with only 30 in place, he factory was burnt down, probably in an arson attack - many handloom weavers rightly feared the impact power looms would have on their livelihoods.
In 1809, Cartwright obtained a grant of £10,000 in recognition of the benefits of his invention.
He was also working on his wool combing machine and a steam engine that requires alcohol instead of water at the time.
Cartwright died in Hastings, 30 October 1823..
Impact and change-The Mill Girls.
The invention of the power loom created jobs for young girls and women who previously wouldn’t to have the opportunity to work, which then provided money for them and their families. This was good for those that had the better jobs in the mills while for others, working in mills the labor meant facing injuries and illnesses. As time went on, and the power loom was perfected to the point that skilled workers weren't needed and the power loom's production increased and “highly experienced machine operators were replaced by less well trained and less paid operators.” Here are some sayings from girls that worked in the looms, a young mill girl named Lucy Larcom described her work as being “…nothing but fun. It’s just like play.” Mary Lou Emmons, a mill girl in the early 20th century said, “I did enjoy it while I was there” and she found the living and working conditions to be quite tolerable. Some people would find the complex machines scary like Susan Miller but others find it more enjoyable.
Darlington R, Smithies G & Wood A, 2012, History Alive 9 for the Australian Curriculum, John Wiley & Sons Australia, Milton

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Historic Figures: Edmund Cartwright (1743-1823)." BBC - Homepage. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 June 2011. <http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/cartwright_edmund.shtml>.
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"Power Loom" Irinvention, Accessed 16 May 2015 <http://irinventions.biss.wikispaces.net/Power Loom Charles
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