The Spinning Jenny

Organization of handicraftsmen in 19th century England.

The Spinning Jenny was invented in 1764 by the carpenter and weaver James Hargreaves. Born in Oswaldtwistle in England in 1720, Hargreaves had no formal education and was never taught how to read or write . He named his invention after his wife Jenny.

Spinning wheels before Hargreaves had one spindle. (Similar wheels are still used today in the hobby industry.) Hargreaves' original spinning jenny was hand-driven and had eight spindles. A single wheel on the spinning jenny controlled eight spindles which created a weave using eight threads spun from a corresponding set of rovings. Later models had up to one-hundred and twenty spindles. Modern spinning factories still use the same principle.