Spinning Mule - Samuel Crompton

Spinning Mule
Spinning Mule. GNU Open License

By definition a spinning mule is an 18th century invention that spun textile fibers into yarn by an intermittent process: in the draw stroke, the roving is pulled through and twisted; on the return it is wrapped onto the spindle.


In 1779, Samuel Crompton invented the spinning mule that combined the moving carriage of the spinning jenny with the rollers of the water frame. The spinning mule gave the spinner great control over the weaving process, many different types of yarn could be produced.
It was improved upon by William Horrocks, known for his invention of the variable speed batton in 1813.

Patent Troubles

Many inventors of the eighteenth century encountered difficulty over their patents. Samuel Crompton failed to obtain a patent for his spinning mule, which was then patented by the famed industrialist Richard Arkwright. It took Samuel Crompton over five years to invent and perfect the spinning mule. Crompton supported his inventing by working as a violinist at the Bolton Theatre for pennies a show, spending all his wages on the development of the spinning mule.

A British Commons Committee, dealing with Samuel Crompton's patent claims in 1812 said that "the method of reward to an inventor, as generally accepted in the eighteenth century, was that the machine, etc., should be made public, and that a subscription should be raised by those interested, as a reward to the inventor."

This was all right before invention required much capital, but after the industrial revolution money was almost absolutely essential for the production of any great technical improvement.

Samuel Crompton

Samuel Crompton born December 3rd 1753 on a farm to George and Betty Crompton.