Over the next several decades, the Industrial Revolution (1760–1851) swept throughout Europe and the Americas, beginning in England. The textile industries in the northeast were the first to be affected by the Industrial Revolution, which began in the 1820s.
Advances in technology and the introduction of new machinery forever changed manufacturing and industry. A number of innovative inventions, such as the flying shuttle, spinning frame, and cotton gin, had a significant impact on the textile business.
However, James Hargreaves’ creation of the Spinning Jenny is credited with relocating the textile industry from households to factories. The Industrial Revolution was able to spread throughout most of the world because of the shift from a household cottage-based industry to factories. In Blackburn, Lancaster, James Hargreaves worked as a weaver.
Despite its reputation as a major textile center, the production of textiles from raw materials took place in cottage enterprises prior to the Industrial Revolution. Individuals in the home did all of the work, and entire families were involved. Children assisted in the washing of raw materials and women spun them into threads or yarns.
The process took time, and merchants who wanted to meet the demand for textile goods were sometimes dissatisfied by the wide supply-demand mismatch. The cost of shipping raw materials to various locations, waiting for completed textiles to be manufactured by hand, and then picking up and bringing finished goods back to the merchant was another motivator to look for alternatives.
The spinning jenny may have been designed by James Hargreaves as an improvement on an older machine invented by Thomas High in 1763 or 1764. High’s machine, while never patented, utilized six spinning wheels fastened together and propelled by a single huge wheel.
The Spinning Jenny, according to legend, was named after one of Hargreaves’ daughters or his wife. Despite this, he did not have a daughter named Jenny, and his wife’s name was Elizabeth. The term “jenny” refers to a steam engine in the old world. There is evidence that James Hargreaves collaborated with Thomas High to improve on an earlier innovation of a mechanical spinning wheel, which was named after Thomas High’s daughter, the spinning Jenny. Regardless of how the invention was titled, it forever transformed the way textiles were manufactured and paved the path for the Industrial Revolution.