Bolton or Bolton-le-Moors (bōlˈtən-lə-mŏrz) [key], city (1991 pop. 143,960) and metropolitan district, NW England, located in the Manchester metropolitan area. Since the late 18th cent., when spinning factories were built and a canal (1791) was constructed to Manchester, Bolton has been a cotton-textile center. Prior to that time, wool weaving, which was stimulated by the immigration of Flemings in the 14th cent., was important. Besides the textile plants (sheets, quilts, towels, bedcovers, and dress materials), factories pack poultry and produce textile and other machinery, chemicals, leather goods, furniture, carpets, and paper. Samuel Crompton, inventor of the spinning mule (1779), was born nearby and is buried in Bolton. Richard Arkwright invented the "water frame" there c.1768.
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