Samuel Crompton, inventor of the spinning mule, early 19th century.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Engraving by Thomas Barlow after a painting by C Allingham. Samuel Crompton (1753-1827) invented the spinning mule, a cros between Hargreaves' spinning jenny and Arkwright's water-frame spinning machine. The spinning mule made it posible to spin almost any type of yarn very quickly.