Bourn, Daniel

SUBJECT AREA: Textiles
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fl. 1744 Lancashire, England
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English inventor of a machine with cylinders for carding cotton.
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Daniel Bourn may well have been a native of Lancashire. He set up a fourth Paul-Wyatt cotton-spinning mill at Leominster, Herefordshire, possibly in 1744, although the earliest mention of it is in 1748. His only known partner in this mill was Henry Morris, a yarn dealer who in 1743 had bought a grant of spindles from Paul at the low rate of 30 shillings or 40 shillings per spindle when the current price was £3 or £4. When Bourn patented his carding engine in 1748, he asked Wyatt for a grant of spindles, to which Wyatt agreed because £100 was offered immedi-ately. The mill, which was probably the only one outside the control of Paul and his backers, was destroyed by fire in 1754 and was not rebuilt, although Bourn and his partners had considerable hopes for it. Bourn was said to have lost over £1,600 in the venture.
Daniel Bourn described himself as a wool and cotton dealer of Leominster in his patent of 1748 for his carding engine. The significance of this invention is the use of rotating cylinders covered with wire clothing. The patent drawing shows four cylinders, one following the other to tease out the wool, but Bourn was unable to discover a satisfactory method of removing the fibres from the last cylinder. It is possible that Robert Peel in Lancashire obtained one of these engines through Morris, and that James Hargreaves tried to improve it; if so, then some of the early carding engines in the cotton industry were derived from Bourn's.
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Bibliography
1748, British patent no. 628 (carding engine).
Further Reading
A.P.Wadsworth and J.de Lacy Mann, 1931, The Cotton Trade and Industrial Lancashire 1600–1780, Manchester (the most significant reference to Bourn).
R.L.Hills, 1970, Power in the Industrial Revolution, Manchester (provides an examination of the carding patent).
R.S.Fitton, 1989, The Arkwrights, Spinners of Fortune, Manchester (mentions Bourn in his survey of the textile scene before Arkwright).
R.Jenkins, 1936–7, "Industries of Herefordshire in Bygone Times", Transactions of the Newcomen Society 17 (includes a reference to Bourn's mill).
C.Singer (ed.), 1957, A History of Technology, Vol. III, Oxford: Clarendon Press; ibid., 1958, Vol, IV (brief mentions of Bourn's work).
RLH

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

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