power loom 1

Power Loom - Circa 1833

The power loom was a steam-powered, mechanically-operated version of a regular loom. A loom is a device that combined threads to make cloth.

When the power loom became efficient, women replaced most men as weavers in the textile factories.

In 1785, Edmund Cartwright patented the first power loom and set up a factory in Doncaster, England to manufacture cloth. A prolific inventor, Edmund Cartwright also invented a wool-combing machine in 1789, continued to improve his power loom, invented a steam engine that used alcohol and a machine for making rope in 1797, and aided Robert Fulton with his steamboats.