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(born July 16, 1704, near Bury, Lancashire, Eng.died 1764?, France) British machinist and engineer. In 1733 he received a patent for a New Engine or Machine for Opening and Dressing Wool that incorporated his flying shuttle, an important step toward automatic weaving. Kay's invention so increased yarn consumption that it spurred the invention of spinning machines (including the spinning jenny and spinning mule), but its true importance lay in its adaptation in power looms.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Kay, John, visit Britannica.com.
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