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Crompton’s Spinning Mule

circa 1800

The mule was invented by Samuel Crompton in Bolton in 1779. This machine is the only surviving mule made by Crompton himself. It is a modified version of the original mule, dating from around 1802, and used by Crompton in his workshop on the top floor of a building in Back King Street, Bolton.

In traditional spinning one person can produce one spindle of spun cotton (called yarn) at a time. With the ‘mule’ one spinner could operate hundreds of spindles together. Unlike other multi-spindle machines, the spinning mule could also make the cotton yarn that was as strong and fine as that made by traditional hand spinners.

This is the only surviving spinning mule that was made by its inventor, and is probably the oldest spinning mule in the world.