Improved Spinning Jenny

Contributed by Helmshore Mill Textile Museum

Improved Spinning Jenny

One man could spin 50 strands of yarn using this machine. This machine was made at the loomshop of the Rhodes family of Diggle near Saddleworth, and was used at Helmshore Textile Mill for spinning wool until 1916. The Spinning Jenny was invented in 1764 by James Hargreaves, a cotton weaver, from Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire. He invented the first successful multi-spindle spinning machine. The early jennies were awkward to operate, and required considerable skill. Within a few years many improvements had been made to the basic design. The jenny at Helmshore Textile Mill is an improved spinning jenny of fifty spindles. These large machines could no longer fit inside houses, and so they were installed in purpose built Jenny Shops. Machines like this one mark the transition from domestic spinning to mechanised spinning mills.

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