In 1769 English inventor and entrepreneur Richard Arkwright of Nottingham received British patent No. 931 for "A new Piece of Machinery never before found out, practised, or used, for the Making of Weft or Yarn from Cotton, Flax, and Wool, which would be of great Utility to a great many Manufactuers in this His Kingdom of England, we well as to His Subjects in general, by Employing a Number of Poor People in Working the said Machinery, and Making the said Weft or Yarn much Superior in Quality to any ever hertofore Manufactured or Made."
Arkwright's description of his invention in his patent specification, referring to the associated diagrams, was brief, and unillustrated:
"A, the cogg wheel and shaft, which receive their motion from a horse; B, the drum or wheel which turns C, a belt of leather, and give motion to the whole machine; D, a lead weight which keeps F., the small drum, steady to E, the forcing wheel; G, the shaft of wood which gives motion to the wheel H, and continues it to I, four pair of rollers (the form of which are drawn in the margin), which act by tooth and pinion, made of brass and steel nutts, fixt in two iron plates K. That part of the roller which the cotton runs through is covered with wood, the top roller with leather, and the bottom one fluted, which lets the cotton &c. through it, and by one pair of rollers moving quicker than the other, draws it finer for twisting, which is performed by the spindles T. K, the two iron plates described abpve; L, four large bobbins with cotton rovings on, conducted between rollers at the back; M, the four threads carried to the bobbins and spindles, by four small wires fixt across the frame in the slip of wood V; N, iron leavers with small lead weights, hanging to the rollers by pulleys, which keep the rollers close to each other; O, a cross piece of wood to which the leavers are fixed; P, the bobbins and spindles; Q, flyes made of wood, with small wires on the side which lead the thread to the bobbins; R, small worsted bands, put about the whirl of the bobbins, the screwing of which tight or easy causes the bobbins to wind up the thread faster or slower; S, the four whirls of the spindles; T, the four spindles which run in iron plates V, explained in letter M; W, a wooden frame of the whole machine."
In 1775 Arkwright received a second patent No. 1111 for "Certain Instruments or Machines which would be of publick Utlity in Preparing Silk, Cotton, Flax, and Wool, for Spinning, and constructed on easy and simple Principles very different from any that had ever been contrived." This patent, an expansion of Arkwright's first patent of 1775, was illustrated with diagrams of the machine.
As stated, the machine, known as a spinning frame, was originally intended to be operated by "horse" power. When Arkwright applied water power to the machinery it became known as the water frame. This invention was a key component of the Industrial Revolution.