Edmund Cartwright was a significant figure in the timeframe of the Industrial Revolution and is remembered as a talented inventor. For example, he invented the power loom and other devices, which had a profound impact on production in England and around the world during the time of the Industrial Revolution. For example, Edmund Cartwright’s power loom transformed the textile industry by speeding up production and automating the weaving process.
Edmund Cartwright was born in Marnham, England on April 24th, 1743. Cartwright was the son of a landowner and was well educated. He went to a Grammar school in Wakefield, and then went to Oxford University. After graduating he became a clergyman and was then elected as a prebendary at Lincoln Cathedral.
While working for the church Cartwright visited Richard Arkwright’s cotton spinning mills and saw the cotton spinning machines in action. Richard Arkwright was another important inventor during the timeframe of the Industrial Revolution and is best known for developing the water frame. After seeing the spinning machines Cartwright thought that he could make something similar for weaving and so was inspired to create a machine called the power loom. He began working on the designs of the machine in 1784 and fully built it in 1785. Many people thought that Cartwright would not be able to make a machine that was able to weave automatically, but he did. The first machine he made was simplistic, but he soon made improvements that enabled the machine to be used in factories. Essentially, the power loom mechanized the function of a loom by use of large shaft and sped up the process of textile manufacturing. In general, looms were used to weave together fabrics in order to create textiles. Cartwright did not benefit much from his invention of the power loom. For instance, he made very little money from his invention. With that said, the power loom had a transformative impact on society and went on to have a profound effect on industrial production.
In 1796 Cartwright moved to London, England. He continued inventing, and came up with a number of different ideas. However, none of his inventions proved successful or were sold. In 1809, he was awarded £10,000 for the national benefits of his power loom and was later elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society.
Cartwright died on October 30th, 1823 in Sussex, England. While he made very little money from his invention of the power loom, the device went on to have a profound impact in textile manufacturing. For example, in 1803, there were approximately 2,400 looms in all of Britain. However, by the mid-1800s, his power loom design was used in numerous factories across Britain and helped power the major impacts of the Industrial Revolution especially in terms of textile manufacturing. For instance, by 1857, it is estimated that there were more that 250,000 looms in use in Britain.