Platt's 'Mule', International Exhibition, London, 1862.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Plate from the 'Illustrated London News'. The 'mule', employed a combination of the techniques used in Sir Richard Arkwright (1732-1792) and James Hargreaves' (c 1720-1778) earlier spinning machines. It formed part of a large exhibition by Platt Brothers and Co of Oldham, Lancashire demonstrating the proces of cotton manufacture from the initial plucking of the pod to the final stage of spinning. The mule was steam powered and its output was equal to that of 648 hand spinners. The cotton being spun here is from Surat, India.