England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...
inventor, was born near Lichfield
Lichfield is a cathedral city, civil parish and district in Staffordshire, England. One of eight civil parishes with city status in England, Lichfield is situated roughly north of Birmingham...
and was related to Sarah Ford, Doctor Johnson's mother. A carpenter by trade he began work in Birmingham
Birmingham is a city and metropolitan borough in the West Midlands of England. It is the most populous British city outside the capital London, with a population of 1,036,900 , and lies at the heart of the West Midlands conurbation, the second most populous urban area in the United Kingdom with a...
on the development of a spinning machine. In 1733 he was working in the mill at New Forge (Powells) Pool, Sutton Coldfield
Sutton Coldfield is a suburb of Birmingham, in the West Midlands of England. Sutton is located about from central Birmingham but has borders with Erdington and Kingstanding. Sutton is in the northeast of Birmingham, with a population of 105,000 recorded in the 2001 census...
attempting to spin the first cotton
Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective capsule, around the seeds of cotton plants of the genus Gossypium. The fiber is almost pure cellulose. The botanical purpose of cotton fiber is to aid in seed dispersal....
thread ever spun by mechanical means.
His principal partner was Lewis Paul
Lewis Paul was the original inventor of roller spinning, the basis of the water frame for spinning cotton in a cotton mill.-Life and work:Lewis Paul was of Huguenot descent. His father was physician to Lord Shaftesbury...
(who was sponsored by the Duke of Shrewsbury) and together they developed the concept of elongating cotton threads by running them through rollers and then stretching them through a faster second set of rollers. They produced the first ever roller spinning machine but it was not successful. Paul took out patent
A patent is a form of intellectual property. It consists of a set of exclusive rights granted by a sovereign state to an inventor or their assignee for a limited period of time in exchange for the public disclosure of an invention....
s in 1738 and in 1758, the year before he died.
In 1757 Rev John Dyer of Northampton recognised the importance of the Paul and Wyatt cotton spinning machine in poem:
- A circular machine, of new design
- In conic shape: it draws and spins a thread
- Without the tedious toil of needless hands.
- A wheel invisible, beneath the floor,
- To ev'ry member of th' harmonius frame,
- Gives necessary motion. One intent
- O'erlooks the work; the carded wool, he says,
- So smoothly lapped around those cylinders,
- Which gently turning, yield it to yon cirue
- Of upright spindles, which with rapid whirl
- Spin out in long extenet an even twine.
Wyatt went to work for Matthew Boulton
Matthew Boulton, FRS was an English manufacturer and business partner of Scottish engineer James Watt. In the final quarter of the 18th century the partnership installed hundreds of Boulton & Watt steam engines, which were a great advance on the state of the art, making possible the...
in his foundry in Birmingham. There he invented and produced a weighing machine and experimented with donkey power
to run his spinning machine. He was brought down by his debts and was made
Despite their failures, their ideas laid the foundations for others who followed, particularly Sir Richard Arkwright
Sir Richard Arkwright , was an Englishman who, although the patents were eventually overturned, is often credited for inventing the spinning frame — later renamed the water frame following the transition to water power. He also patented a carding engine that could convert raw cotton into yarn...