John Lombe

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John Lombe

1690?-1722

English weaver and inventor who, with his brother Thomas, helped bring the silk industry to England. Understanding that the Italians held a monopoly on "silk-throwing" machines that spun silk into thread, Lombe traveled to Italy to learn their secrets. Upon his return, he and Thomas built the first English silk-throwing machine, sparking the birth of the English silk industry. A rumor at the time of Lombe's death suggested that he been poisoned by vindictive Italians.

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John Lombe

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