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Appold, John George (1800–1865), fur dyer and engineer, was born on 14 April 1800 at 23 Wilson Street, Finsbury Square, London, the third of seven children of Christian Appold, (1758/9–1834), fur dyer, and his first wife Hannah née Titford (1771/2–1810...

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Sir Richard Arkwright (1732–1792) by Joseph Wright of Derby, 1789–90 private collection; photograph ? National Portrait Gallery, London

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Arkwright, Sir Richard (1732–1792), inventor of cotton-spinning machinery and cotton manufacturer, was born on 23 December 1732 at Preston, Lancashire, the sixth of the seven children of Thomas Arkwright (1691–1753), a tailor, and his wife, Ellen Hodgkinson (1693–1778). The family was rooted in ...

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Barnard, Joseph Edwin (1868–1949), hatter and microscopist, was born on 7 December 1868 at 321 Vauxhall Bridge Road, Pimlico, London, the son of Walter Barnard, hatter, and his wife, Elizabeth Phillips Jacob. He was educated at the City of London School, leaving at the age of sixteen as head boy. He entered his father's firm, with premises at ...

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Bell, Thomas (fl. 1783–1784), inventor of cylinder printing in the textile industry, was probably born in Scotland. He became a copperplate-engraver and printer, and by the 1780s he was living at Mosney, then at Walton-le-Dale, near Preston, an important region of calico printing. His move to ...

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Buxton, Richard (1786–1865), botanist and shoemaker, was born on 15 January 1786 at Sedgley Hall Farm, Prestwich, Lancashire, the second son of the seven children of John Buxton and his wife, Ann (née Houghton). His parents, originally from Derbyshire, hit hard times before he turned two, forcing his father to become a labourer in ...

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Crompton, Samuel (1753–1827), inventor of the spinning mule, was born at Firwood Fold, Tonge, near Bolton, Lancashire, on 3 December 1753, the eldest son of George Crompton (1726–1758) and Elizabeth Holt (1725–1799) of nearby Turton. Firwood Farm had been held by Cromptons since Tudor times; ...

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Samuel Crompton (1753–1827) by Samuel William Reynolds senior, pubd 1828 (after Charles Allingham) ? National Portrait Gallery, London

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See Dollond family

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Duncan, John (1794–1881), hand-loom weaver and botanist, was born on 19 December 1794 at Stonehaven, Kincardineshire, the illegitimate son of John Duncan, weaver and soldier, from Drumlithie, and Ann Caird (c.1773–c.1830), also of Drumlithie, who decided to support herself and her child by weaving stockings and harvesting at nearby ...

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John Duncan (1794–1881) by unknown engraver, c. 1865–6 ? National Portrait Gallery, London

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Edward, Thomas (1814–1886), naturalist and shoemaker, was born on 25 December 1814 at Gosport, Hampshire, one of several children of John Edward, Fife militiaman and weaver, and Margaret Mitchell of Aberdeen. His early years were spent at Kettle, Fife, and at Aberdeen. From childhood he was passionately fond of animals, bringing home so many ‘beasties’ that he was frequently flogged and confined to the house. Utterly unmanageable, by the age of six he had been expelled from three schools because of his zoological pursuits and truancy. Abandoning school, he found employment at ...

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Thomas Edward (1814–1886) by Sir George Reid Scottish National Portrait Gallery

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James Finlayson (1772?–?1852) by unknown artist ? reserved

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Finlayson, James (1772?–1852?), engineer and cotton manufacturer, was probably born on 29 August 1772 in the parish of Penicuik, near Edinburgh. Of his early life in Scotland nothing is known, and it is in St Petersburg in Russia at the end of the eighteenth century that he first makes his appearance, as a master machinist at the ...

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Richard Garnett

revised by Giles Hudson

Garnett, Thomas (1799–1878), textile manufacturer and naturalist, was the son of William Garnett, paper manufacturer, and Mary, née Rhodes, and the younger brother of Richard Garnett (1789–1850) and Jeremiah Garnett (1793–1870). The ninth of eleven children, he was born at Otley, Yorkshire, on 18 January 1799. In his early days he supported himself by weaving pieces on his own account, but about 1820 he obtained employment in the cotton-spinning establishment of ...

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G. S. Boulger

revised by Peter Osborne

Gourlie, William (1815–1856), calico printer and botanist, was born in Glasgow in March 1815, the son of William Gourlie, merchant, and his wife, Agnes (née Bankier). He was educated at the public school and university of Glasgow, studying botany under W. J. Hooker...

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Gutteridge, Joseph (1816–1899), silk weaver and naturalist, was born on 23 March 1816 in Coventry, the eldest of the three sons of Joseph Gutteridge, a recruiting sergeant, and his first wife, Sarah Shaw. Educated from 1821 in two schools, run by a Quaker woman and Wesleyan preacher respectively, he then went to ...

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Hall, Samuel (bap. 1782, d. 1863), cotton spinner and engineer, was baptized on 17 March 1782 at Basford, Nottinghamshire, the second son of Robert Hall (1754–1827), cotton manufacturer and bleacher, and his wife, Ann. Marshall Hall, the physiologist, was his younger brother. In 1813 ...

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Hargreaves, James (bap. 1721, d. 1778), inventor of the spinning jenny, was born in Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire, and baptized at Church Kirk on 8 January 1721. His exact birthplace is unknown, and apart from the fact that he became a hand-loom weaver, little has been discovered of his early life. His parents had one other child, ...