The incredible old Spinning Jenny, once part of the David Livingtstone Centre has undergone a remarkable transformation. Dismantled carefully, renovated and now rebuilt inside the new, rebranded David Livingstone Birthplace, this promises to be a wonderful display showing the equipment a young David Livingstone worked on.
This extract of the most recent David Livingstone Birthplace Newsletter describes this transformation to best effect:
“The tale of how the Spinning Jenny was moved out of the museum was nothing short of epic. Expert art handlers, Philip Pestell and Joanna Boyce, painstakingly recorded how the cumbersome, yet intricate, two-hundred year old machine had been put together – photographing and labelling every component as it was disassembled. It was then navigated carefully down the museum’s spiral staircase before being taken to out temporary storage facility. Unsurprisingly, this unforgettable object, didn’t require a re-introduction when we contacted them about installing it.
Three weeks after it arrived back on-site, Philip has single-handedly pieced it back together. It now sits in its own room where it will be viewed through glass when visitors first arrive at the museum. Rather than a complete original object, the museum’s Spinning Jenny was was created using components from multiple machines.
This example is similar to Samuel Crompton’s Spinning Mule. His design combined features of James Hargreaves’ Spinning Jenny (1764) and Richard Arkwright’s Water Frame (1765). By assimilating Hargreaves’ machine which produced multiple spools of yarn using a carriage, together with Arkwright’s incentive that incorporated rollers to stretch the yarns, Crompton’s machine increased the volume and variety of yarns that could be produced. The machine was an asset to the Blantyre Works Mill which once stood adjacent to Shuttle Row, whereto museum is now housed.”
The renovated museum intends to re-open in 2021, subject to covid restrictions being lifted. Meantime, you can follow all their news directly on their Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/DavidLivingstoneBirthplace
or on their website here https://www.davidlivingstonebirthplace.com/
With thanks to David Livingstone Birthplace.