High Speed Woollen Spinning Mule
The spinning mule was invented by Samuel Crompton in 1779. It revolutionized textile production by vastly increasing the amount of material that could be spun at any one time.
This also meant textile manufacturers no longer needed to pay individual spinners to create spindles (wooden rods) wound with thread, as just one operator could now use the machine to spin hundreds of spindles at once.
This machine was called a spinning ‘mule’ because it combined features of two machines. A mule is a cross between a horse and a donkey, and all three were widely used working animals of the time. A female donkey is called a ‘Jenny’.
Learn about Samuel Crompton’s invention:
See a mule in action: