Inventions Cartwright was not only a clergyman; he was Industry Email List also a prolific inventor, though he didn't begin experimenting with inventions until he was in his 40s. In 1784, he was inspired to create a machine for weaving Industry Email List after he visited inventor Richard Arkwright's cotton-spinning mills in Derbyshire. Although he had no experience in this field and many people thought his ideas were Industry Email List nonsense, Cartwright, with the help of a carpenter, worked to bring his concept to fruition. He completed the design for his first power loom in 1784 and won a patent for the invention in 1785.
Although this initial design was not Industry Email List successful, Cartwright continued to make improvements to subsequent iterations of his power loom until he had developed a productive machine. He then established a factory in Industry Email List Doncaster to mass produce the devices. However, Cartwright had no experience or knowledge Industry Email List in business or industry so he was never able to successfully market his power looms and primarily used his factory to test new inventions. He invented a wool-combing machine in 1789 and continued to improve his power loom.
He secured another patent for a weaving Industry Email List invention in 1792. Bankruptcy Cartwright went bankrupt in 1793, forcing him to close his factory. He sold 400 of his looms to a Manchester company but lost the remainder when his factory burned down, possibly due to arson committed by handloom weavers who Industry Email List feared they would be put out of work by the new power looms. (Their fears would eventually prove to be well-founded.) Bankrupt and destitute, Cartwright moved to London Industry Email List in 1796, where he worked on other invention ideas. He invented a steam engine powered by alcohol and a machine for making rope, and helped Robert Fulton with his steamboats.