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Crompton, Samuel

Crompton, Samuel, 1753?1827, English inventor of the mule spinner, or muslin wheel, an important step in the development of fine cotton spinning. Working as a young man in a spinning mill, he knew the defects of the Hargreaves jenny and determined to produce something better. After five years of secret work, he perfected (1779) a machine that combined the features of the jenny and Arkwright's frame and that, in one operation, by drawing, twisting, and winding the cotton, produced a very fine yarn. Crompton, however, was too poor to obtain a patent for his invention and sold his rights for 60. Later Parliament granted him 5,000.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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