1812 Partnership dissolved: 'A. Thacker, T. Draper, R. Tillard, T. & R. Thacker, and W. Eaton, of Wilne Mills, Derby, cotton spinners (as to the said T. Thacker only).'
1818 William Eaton of Wiln Mills patented a a self-acting cotton spinning mule. Such a machine was the desideratum of mill owners, and many inventors strived to develop a spinning mule which was largely self-acting. Eaton's type was installed in various places: those in Manchester did not give complete satisfaction, and were dismantled; some in France were total failures, but those in Derbyshire (at Wiln Mills) remained in use for almost 20 years.. The foregoing is a very condensed account of the development, and a much more comprehensive summary was written in 1864 by J. C. Dyer, who, with one of Dyer's employees,Thomas Wood (of Manchester), helped Eaton to further develop the machine. Dyer believed that the machine showed great promise, but its development was halted when Eaton died. It fell to Richard Roberts to develop the self-acting mule into a truly practicable piece of equipment.
Sources of Information
- Morning Chronicle, 1 April 1812
- 'The Spinning Mule' by Harold Catling, David & Charles, 1970
-  'The Engineer', 25 Nov 1864, pp.323-4