ARKWRIGHT, Richard (1732-92). The Trial of a Cause instituted by Richard Pepper Arden, Esq; his Majesty's Attorney General ... to repeal a patent granted on the sixteenth of December 1775 to Mr. Richard Arkwright, for an invention of certain instruments and machines for preparing silk, cotton, flax, and wool for spinning ... at Westminster-Hall, on Saturday the 25th of June 1785, London: Hughes and Walsh, 1785. 2° (331 x 205mm). Folding engraved frontispiece. (Frontispiece with long clean tear and offsetting, first gathering almost detached, last 7 gatherings starting to detach, a few light spots, stronger at beginning and end.) Contemporary boards (spine worn, paper on front cover torn, rubbed and soiled).
In 1762, Richard Arkwright, a wig-maker from Preston, heard about attempts being made to produce new machines for the textile industry. By 1767 a machine for carding cotton had been introduced into England and James Hargreaves had invented the Spinning Jenny. With the help of the clockmaker John Kay, who had been working on a mechanical spinning machine, Arkwright made improvements that produced a stronger yarn than anything available at that time. The machine was able to spin 128 threads at one time and did not require a skilled operator to run it. It was, however, too large to be operated by hand. Arkwright tried using horsepower, but finally settled on using a waterwheel. In 1771 he set up a large factory next to the River Derwent in Cromford, Derbyshire and the new carding machine was patented in 1775.