The Spinning Jenny was invented in 1764 by an Englishman named James Hargreaves. This remarkable new invention—a multi-spindle spinning frame—revolutionized the textile industry, leading to increased production and efficiency. In mid 18th-century England, there was a huge demand for woven cloth, and the invention of the Spinning Jenny enabled textile manufacturers to meet that growing demand.
The Spinning Jenny used eight spindles onto which thread could be spun. It also consisted of a large, manually-operated wheel which allowed the operator of the machine to spin all eight threads at once. In due course, Hargreaves improved on his invention and increased the number of threads that could be spun simultaneously to eighty.
Workers in the textile industry were deeply hostile to this new invention. They saw it as a direct threat to their jobs. And in those days, without work, there was always a very real danger of either being sent to a workhouse or even starving to death. It came as no surprise, then, that a mob of angry cloth workers broke into Hargreaves' house and destroyed his new labor-saving machine. Nevertheless, they were unable to hold back technological progress for long, and Hargreaves' invention formed the basis for similar developments in manufacturing technology during the Industrial Revolution such as Samuel Crompton's Spinning Mule.