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Sir Richard Arkwright

(1732-1792), Engineer and inventor

Mid-Georgian Portraits Catalogue Entry

Sitter in 2 portraits
The inventor and entrepreneur, Richard Arkwright is one of the leading figures of the Industrial Revolution. In 1769 he patented a water-powered spinning machine that could spin a vast number of threads. This enabled the largescale mechanisation of the cotton industry. In 1771 he established his famous cotton mill at Cromford, Derbyshire, from where he developed an industrial empire. Arkwright was the first of the 'cotton kings' and is acknowledged as the founding father of the modern factory system.

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Sir Richard Arkwright, by Joseph Wright - NPG 6848

Sir Richard Arkwright

by Joseph Wright
oil on canvas, circa 1783-1785
On display in Room 16 on Floor 3 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 6848

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