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Kay, John (1704–c.1764)

flying shuttle
British engineer and inventor of the flying shuttle (patented 1733), which greatly increased the speed of weaving while reducing the number of workers required. The flying shuttle, by enabling a weaver to throw the shuttle automatically from side to side across the warp of a loom, doubled output. Kay's invention – a major step in the development f automatic weaving – was seen as a threat to handloom weavers and he was forced to emigrate to France.

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