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David Dale, son of a grocer, and prosperous cloth merchant accompanied by Richard Arkwright wondered if the power of all this water could be harnessed to drive cotton spinning machines. Arkwright had invented one called "the water-frame" which needed too much power to be used by an individual family (as was common with spinning machines and looms at the time). They wanted to incorporate hundreds of these machines in one location and use a common source of power to drive them all.  

David Dale invented the cotton mill to solve this problem in 1783.  Within ten years Dale built a new village, (eventually 2500 people lived and worked there) called New Lanark, centered around his new mill factories.

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