Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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James Bullough

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James Bullough textile machinery manufacturer

James Bullough was born at Westhoughton, Lancashire, the son of Ann Bullough, and was put to the hand-loom when he was seven.

From an early age he set pout to improve the weaving process

He invented the weft fork, which stopped the loom when the thread broke and prevented the shuttle from damaging the cloth. Controversy surrounded the invention, which Bullough and James Kenworthy, co-workers in a Blackburn mill, patented in 1841 as John Osbaldeston laid claim to it.

Bullough took out patents covering all aspects of weaving. These included a roller temple that kept the woven cloth at its correct width and a loose reed that allowed the lathe to back away on encountering a shuttle trapped in the warp.

Bullough with his employees James Whittaker and John Walmsley, invented a machine that sized two warps and wound them on two beams at the same time.

1856 Bullough managed and ran a number of small mills in Lancashire before joining John Howard in a textile machinery business at Accrington in 1856.

Howard had begun three years earlier with four employees but with Bullough's backing expansion accelerated.

The firm of Howard and Bullough specialized in machines for preparing and spinning cotton, and by 1866, the year of Howard's death, employed 300 workpeople.

1868 James Bullough died on 31 July 1868, leaving the business to his son John - presumably John Bullough (of Accrington).

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