Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Crompton, William

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CROMPTON, William, inventor, b. in Preston, England, 10 Sept., 1806; d. in Windsor, Conn., 1 May, 1891. He was brought up as a hand-loom cotton-weaver, and at an early age learned the trade of a machinist. While superintendent of a cotton-mill in Ramsbottom he made many experiments on cotton-looms. He went to Taunton, Mass., in 1836, and devised a loom for the manufacture of fancy cotton goods, receiving a patent on 23 Nov., 1837. In this loom one part of the warp was depressed while the other was lifted, instead of allowing one part to remain stationary, thus securing more room for the passage of the shuttle. Another feature of it was the chain, which, with its peculiar apparatus, operated the warp. Mr. Crompton went to England in 1838, and, after patenting his loom there, returned with his family to this country in 1839, and in 1840 adapted his loom to the weaving of fancy woollens. At least three fourths of all the woollen goods now made in the United States are woven on the Crompton loom, or on looms embodying its principles. Mr. Crompton retired from active business in 1849, on account of failing health. — His son, George, inventor, b. in Holcomb, England, 23 March, 1829; d. in Worcester, Mass., 29 Dec., 1886, came to the United States in 1839, and joined his father's business. In 1851 he engaged in the manufacture of fancy looms in Worcester, Mass., where the Crompton loom-works have since been established. He soon directed his attention to improvements in his father's loom, and since 1854 has taken out more than fifty patents, including those for the harness mechanism, picker movement, let-off and stop motions, shuttle and shuttle-boxes, shipping mechanism, and devices for finding the pick when broken or exhausted. He has also received eight patents for textile fabrics. At the Centennial exhibition in 1876 he received an award “for the best looms for fancy weaving on shawls, cassimeres, and satinets.” By Mr. Crompton's improvements in his father's looms there is an increased production of sixty per cent., with a saving of fifty per cent. in labor and more than that in the cost of repairs.