The earliest and greatest transformations of the Industrial Revolution took place in the woollen and cotton textiles industries. New technologies, new working methods, new trade networks and even new fashion trends created an industry whose practices were adopted throughout the economy.
Richard Arkwright, a wigmaker from Preston, was a key figure in this amazing transformation. Arguably, he kick-started the factory system of manufacturing that was to last well into the twentieth century.
Here, we look at the techniques that Arkwright developed, how they drew on a rich pattern of invention and innovation and the impact of such developments on industry and society.