Slater Spinning Frame

ID: 91-3686

Creator: Unknown

Form/Genre: Photographic print

Date: Unknown, probably 1950s

Citation: Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 95, Box 41, Folder 1

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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


There is extensive information provided about the Spinning Frame, Samuel Slater and Slater's First Mill in the Scrapbook. Scrapbook was prepared for Mr. John E. Graf, Assistant Secretary, by the staff of the United States National Museum and the National Air Museum. The National Air Museum was created in 1948 and Graf retired from the Smithsonian in 1957, so the picture was probably created between 1948 and 1957.

Contained within

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 95, Box 41, Folder 1

Contact information

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


Unknown, probably 1950s

Restrictions & Rights

No restrictions


  • Cotton machinery
  • Cotton spinning
  • Artifacts
  • Slater Spinning Frame
  • Exhibitions
  • Agriculture
  • Spinning
  • Textiles
  • Expositions
  • Expositions--Philadelphia
  • Textile fabrics




  • Photographic print
  • Object

ID Number


Physical description

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

Full Record

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