Edmund Cartwright

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Edward Cartwright
Known for Power loom

Cartwright, Edmund

Cartwright, Edmund, 1743–1823, English inventor and clergyman. He was the inventor of an imperfect power loom that, when finally patented (1785), became the parent of the modern loom. It was the first machine to make practical the weaving of wide cotton cloth. A few of Cartwright's many other inventions were a wool-combing machine (1789), a machine for ropemaking (1792), and an engine (1797) that used alcohol as fuel. He cooperated with Fulton on his experiments with steam navigation.
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Cartwright, Edmund


Born Apr. 24, 1743, in Marnham, Nottinghamshire; died Oct. 30, 1823, in Hastings, Sussex. English inventor of the power loom. After graduating from Oxford University (1764), he became a country clergyman. In 1785, Cartwright took out a patent for the treadle-operated loom, which he had invented; the shuttle was driven by hand. He was able to combine in this loom, which was improved in 1786, all the basic operations of hand weaving. In 1785, Cartwright built a mill with 20 looms in Doncaster, Yorkshire, and in 1789 installed a steam engine to drive them. Cartwright’s loom was widely used after improvements made by other inventors (1813 and 1822).


Tseitlin, E. A. Ocherki istorii tekstiVnoi tekhniki. Moscow-Leningrad, 1940.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.