Slater's Spinning Frame

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The 48-spindle spinning machine, the oldest piece of cotton mill machinery in America, built by Samuel Slater and operated by him on December 20, 1790, in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. Exhibited in 1876 at Centennial Exhibition, Philadelphia, and in 1885, lent by United States National Museum for exhibition at World's Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition in New Orleans. The spinning frame was presented by Rhode Island Society for the Encouragement of Domestic Industry.


  • Slater, Samuel 1768-1835
  • United States National Museum
  • Centennial Exhibition (1876 : Philadelphia, Pa.)


Historic Images of the Smithsonian

Contained within

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 95, Box 54A, Folder: 18

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20024-2520,

Restrictions & Rights

No restrictions


  • Cotton machinery
  • Cotton spinning
  • Slater Spinning Frame
  • Exhibitions
  • Agriculture
  • Spinning
  • Expositions
  • Expositions--Philadelphia




  • Photographic print
  • Object

ID Number


Physical description

Color: Black and White; Size: 10w x 8h; Type of Image: Object; Medium: Photographic print

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