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.
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