Arkwright's water frame, c 1775.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Detail. Designed and constructed by Sir Richard Arkwright (1732-1792) in about 1775, these machines were used to spin cotton thread at Arkwright's Cromford Mill at Matlock Bath in Derbyshire. Being driven by water power, they became known as water frames. An improvement on his first spinning machine, the water frame had an arrangement for guiding the yarn over the bobbins evenly and contained more spindles. Arkwright was the inventor of the spinning mill and of textile machinery that revolutionised manufacturing proceses during the early Industrial Revolution.