Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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William Horrocks

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of Stockport

1802 William Horrocks, a Stockport cotton manufacturer, patented an improved power-loom. It featured a more effective way of winding the woven cloth onto a beam at the back of the loom

1807 Listed as bankrupt 'William Horrocks and John Horrocks, late of Stockport, Cheshire, muslim manufacturers, dealers and chapman' [1]

1849 Death notice: 'Feb. 14, at his residence, Bank-cottage, Heaton Norris, aged 73 years, Mr. Wm. H. Horrocks. Several of the most important improvements in the power-loom were the invention of ths gentleman, as well as many other valuable discoveries in machinery.'[2]

Horrocks's looms were regarded as the most significant of the various weaving looms produced in the early years of the 19th century. Among other improvements, in 1813 he introduced a method of varying the speed of the batten to increase the period for which the shed remained open for the shuttle to pass through. He adopted William Radcliffe's method of taking up the cloth. Between 1813 and 1820 the number of power looms increased from 2400 to 14150. Later, Richard Roberts invented the self-acting loom using Horrocks's loom as a basis.[3]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Gazette Issue 16037 published on the 13 June 1807. Page 12 of 20
  2. Liverpool Mercury, 20 February 1849
  3. 'The Textile Industry: Machinery for Cotton, Flax, Wool, 1760-1850' by Julia de L. Mann in 'A History of Technology' Vol IV, Oxford, 1958