British Manufacturing progressed little by little, step by step, each invention building on the one that went before.
Famously it was said of the sewing machine that no one person could have created something of such subtlety. Looking at textiles, where it all began, Bury man, John Kay invented the flying shuttle to be followed by James Hargreaves and the spinning jenny, Richard Arkwright and his water frame and Samuel Crompton’s mule. Famously Arkwright built the first factory.
The sewing machine followed from American and, not long after, companies like Hyam & Co of Manchester sold garments from a chain of stores. Hyams were also writ large as advertisers in the catalogue of the Great Exhibition.
Textiles were the product; in time more power was needed – steam!
You can read more about advances in textile production in my book How Britain Shaped the Manufacturing World.