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Sir Isaac Holden

1807 - 1897

Inventor. Born in Hurlet (Glasgow), Holden worked in a cotton mill in Paisley from the age of ten. He bettered himself through education and was able to secure a post as an assistant teacher in 1823. In 1828, he moved to England, settling in the West Riding of Yorkshire. He went on to invent improved machinery for the combing of wool, a process which precedes spinning. Having patented his invention, he established a factory in France but also ran the largest wool-combing plant in the world employing 4000 people in Yorkshire.

Holden served as a Liberal Member of Parliament (1865-8 and 1882-95) and was knighted in 1893. He died at his home, Oakworth House, near Keighley (Yorkshire).

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