Several inventions in textile machinery occurred in a relatively short time period during the industrial revolution: the flying shuttle, spinning jenny, spinning frame, and cotton gin. These inventions facilitated the handling of large quantities of harvested cotton. In 1764, a British carpenter and weaver named James Hargreaves invented an improved spinning jenny, a hand-powered multiple spinning machine that was the first machine to improve upon the spinning wheel.
Legend has it that Hargreaves' daughter Jenny knocked over a spinning wheel and as Hargreaves watched the spindle roll across the floor the idea for the spinning jenny came to him. However, that story is just a legend.
The spinning jenny is a multi-spool spinning wheel. The device dramatically reduced the amount of work needed to produce yarn, with a single worker able to work eight or more spools at once.