Cromford Mill, built by Sir Richard Arkwright, known as the "Founder of the Industrial Revolution."

Cromford Mill, built by Sir Richard Arkwright, known as the “Founder of the Industrial Revolution.”


Melissa, who blogs at the wonderfully named Smitten by Britain: For People who Love Great Britain, asked me to write a guest post for her. Here’s the result:  a piece on the founding of the Industrial Revolution.

My inspiration was information provided by a museum of technology and innovation near Boston, Massachusetts, which stated:

“In 1813, Francis Cabot Lowell established the Boston Manufacturing Company in Waltham . . .  his company gave birth to the Industrial Revolution.”

Well, actually that’s not true. It’s not at all true.  The Industrial Revolution began not in 1813 in Waltham, Mass., but in 1771 in Cromford, Derbyshire, under the auspices of Sir Richard Arkwright, credited with being the “Founder of the Industrial Revolution,” who created a spinning machine powered by water for the manufacture of textiles.

How did I know that Arkwright, not Lowell, actually founded the Industrial Revolution?  Easy.  It’s because Arkwright’s mill is just 1 mile from my grandparents’ farm in Derbyshire, and their farm is part of the former Arkwright estate.

More about that in later posts, as well as information on “Slater the Traitor,” the man who stole Arkwright’s inventions and brought them to New England. For now, here’s information on the Industrial Revolution, which had an immeasurable influence on the economy of the world, the power of nations, and the brutal working conditions that continue to this day in parts of the world.