Hard at Work in Factories and Mines: The Economics of Child Labor during the British Industrial Revolution

By Carolyn Tuttle | Go to book overview

Appendix 6
The Invention of the Spinning Jenny

It is unclear from the records remaining whether it was Hargreaves intention to employ children on his spinning jenny. An earlier version, however, based on a similar principle, patented by Richard Haines, claimed to be made specifically with the employment of the young, sick and elderly in mind. He proposed that his machine, if placed in a Working-Almshouse for the manufactury of linen cloth, would provide "employment for the weakest people, viz. women and children and decrepit or aged people" (465). These Working-Almshouses would relieve parish rates "since now the Parishes need not so much fear a charge, knowing a Means how to employ all their Children, as fast as they come to be five or six years old" (469). Therefore, it seems at least plausible that a spinning engine like the jenny, which worked on the principle of multiplying the actions of the spinning wheel, could be worked by children. This view is strengthened by statements made by several of Hargreaves' contemporaries. John Aikin seems almost apologetic in his confirmation of the employment of children on the jenny in 1795 in his Description of the Country from 30 to 40 miles round Manchester. Apparently having some preference for adult spinners he observes that, "At first, it is true, jennies containing at most twelve spindles were worked by children of nine to twelve years of age; but these machines were soon displaced by larger jennies both because the latter proved cheaper and also because the spinning done by children was unsatisfactory when a higher level of quality in yarns began to be expected" (quoted in Chapman 1904:54). John Kennedy, in a paper entitled "Observation on The Rise and Progress of the Cotton Trade in Great Britain" that he read before the Literary and Philosophical Society of Manchester in 1815, stated that youths worked the jenny. Kennedy was particularly knowledgeable about spinning machinery since he began his career as a machine-maker and mule spinner and later built three cotton mills with his partners Sanford and McConnell. In tracing the improvements in machinery, he said. "This was followed by another machine, called the Spinning Jenny, invented in 1767 by Mr. Hargreaves, of Blackburn; by means of which a young person could work ten or twenty spindles at once" (9). By the end of the eighteenth century, Marsden published a book on cotton spinning ( 1884) in which he draws an important distinction between Hargreave's original jenny and the improved versions with 120 spindles, "Hargreaves' jennies were generally worked by women and children, as also were Arkwright's water frames. The successive improvements and enlargements, however, began to make them complicated and cumbrous for females to handle, and hence necessitated a change in this respect" (224-225).

-273-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Hard at Work in Factories and Mines: The Economics of Child Labor during the British Industrial Revolution
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 310

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.