Sunday, 10 March 2013
The Lombe family of Norfolk had been involved in the weaving trade for many generations. In the early 1700's John Lombe visited Italy where he saw mechanical weaving machines, known as "throwing machines".
Armed with this knowledge and his engineering skills he built a factory five stories high with 26 machines powered by water. A workforce of up to 400 meant the amount of silk that could be produced quickly and in vast quantity's.
His glory was short lived however, as John died in mysterious circumstances five years later, many believing he was poisoned by the Italians for stealing their machine design.