Kay, John (1704–c.1780). Engineer and inventor. Born in 1704 near Bury (Lancs.), Kay patented his flying-shuttle for a loom in 1733. It produced a great speeding-up in the process of weaving. Kay experienced considerable difficulty in exploiting his invention. His house was destroyed in 1753 by a mob, concerned about unemployment in the industry, while the Leeds manufacturers banded together to indemnify each other against legal proceedings to enforce Kay's patent. Kay took refuge in France, where he tried to carry on, but died in obscurity.
J. A. Cannon
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