Cotton was first imported to Providence from Spain in 1785; a company to carry on cotton-spinning, formed at Providence in 1786, established there in the following year a factory containing a spinning jenny of 28 spindles (the first machine of the kind to be used in the United States), and also a carding machine and a spinning frame with which was manufactured a kind of jean having a linen warp and a cotton filling.
Carding, roving and spinning machines were constructed at Bridgewater in 1786.
A fresh patent, taken out in 1775, covered several additional improvements in the processes of carding, roving and spinning.
The cotton trade developed rapidly after the introduction of the cylindrical carding machine, which was set up here two years before Peel used it at Bolton.
In 1852 he produced "Girls Sewing," "Man Spreading Manure"; 1853, "The Reapers"; 1854, "Church at Greville"; 1855 - the year of the International Exhibition, at which he received a medal of second class - "Peasant Grafting a Tree"; 1857, "The Gleaners"; 1859, "The Angelus," "The Woodcutter and Death"; 1860, "Sheep Shearing"; 1861, "Woman Shearing Sheep," "Woman Feeding Child"; 1862, "Potato Planters," "Winter and the Crows"; 1863, "Man with Hoe," "Woman Carding"; 1864, "Shepherds and Flock, Peasants Bringing Home a Calf Born in the Fields"; 1869, "Knitting Lesson"; 1870, "Buttermaking"; 1871, "November - recollection of Gruchy."
The invention of the steam engine, following quickly upon that of the carding machine, the spinning jenny, and other ingenious machinery employed in textile manufactures, gave an extraordinary impulse to their development, and, with them, that of kindred branches of industry.