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John Kay’s revolutionary invention of the Flying Shuttle

Posted in Historical articles, Industry, Inventions on Tuesday, 31 July 2012

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This edited article about John Kay originally appeared in Look and Learn issue number 757 published on 17th July 1976.

Flying Shuttle, picture, image, illustration

The Flying Shuttle was John Kay’s revolutionary invention

In a humble weaver’s cottage on July 16th 1704, a child was born who was to revolutionize the craft of weaving. He was John Kay, inventor of the flying shuttle and other devices for improving and speeding up the weaving process.

Unfortunately, Kay made little profit from his inventions. This was due to the greed of weaving firms who refused to pay royalties for using his ideas and to the actions of his own workers who, fearing the new looms would put them out of work, wrecked his workshop. He died in poverty in 1764.

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