Who Invented the Textile Mill?

The first successful textile factory is attributed to Richard Arkwright, a British inventor who, in 1771, opened a water-powered mill on the Derwent River in Cromford, England. Arkwright's methods are thought to have been based on the designs of inventors Thomas Highs and John Kay.

Invention of the first automated spinning machine, called the "spinning jenny," is attributed to James Hargreaves, a British weaver, who patented his invention in 1770. History shows disputes between Hargreaves, Arkwright and Kay over who the machine's true inventor was. Thomas Highs developed an earlier version of the machine but did not procure a patent for it.