How Did the Spinning Jenny Help Society?
The spinning jenny helped society because it enabled workers to produce more yarn in a shorter amount of time, according to About.com. This was a significant step in bringing the Industrial Revolution to the textile industry in England. The Industrial Revolution was able to provide new jobs and raise the standard of living of many people.
James Hargreaves patented the spinning jenny in 1770. Before this, workers laboriously spun yarn on spinning wheels with only one spindle. Hargreaves' machine allowed one worker to run eight or more spindles instead of one. The invention of the flying shuttle by John Kay in 1733 doubled the productivity of weavers, and thanks to the spinning jenny, spinners could keep up with the demand for yarn. After the introduction of the spinning jenny in the textile industry, other inventors continued to improve efficiency. In 1779, Samuel Crompton invented the spinning mule, which could spin a greater quantity of fine, strong yarns at the same time. In 1793, American Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin, which rapidly separated cotton fiber from seeds.
All these inventions hastened the demise of home cottage industries and facilitated the rise of large textile factories. The Industrial Revolution made a great quantity of new goods available to middle and upper class consumers, encouraged the rise of larger cities and towns to accommodate factory personnel, and opened up many new jobs for people moving from the countryside into the cities.