Sir Richard Arkwright (1732-1792), British industrialist. Arkwright was an inventor and textile manufacturer who played an important role in the British industrial revolution. In 1769 he patented a steam-powered machine that produced strong cotton yarn. He established this machine at a mill in Nottingham (1768) and in Cromford, Derbyshire (1771). His later factories employed machinery for all processes of textile manufacture. This established cotton as the main industry in northern England. He was knighted in 1786 and died a rich man.
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