Cartwright power loom patent drawing
Creative Commons LicenseJeremy Norman Collection of Images - Creative Commons

Cartwright's first and later versions of the power loom were extremely problematic, but he was the first to attempt to mechanize the weaving process--so critical in the Industrial Revolution.

This schematic from Cartwrights first patent was the first conception of the power loom.
Creative Commons LicenseJeremy Norman Collection of Images - Creative Commons

This schematic from Cartwrights first patent was the first conception of the power loom.

Edmund Cartwright Invents the Power Loom

1786

In 1786 English inventor Edmund Cartwright patented the first power loom. His first of several patents for this invention was specification No. 1565 (1786) for what he called a "Newly Invented Weaving Machine." Cartwright's first attempts and his later attempts to improve the power loom were problematic, but the technical obstacles were gradually solved by other inventors and entrepreneurs, and by 1850 there were 260,000 power looms in operation in England.

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