The textile machinery collection is an extremely important one. The museum began collecting textile machines in the 19th century and amongst the items at the heart of this collection is the only surviving example of a spinning mule that was made by the inventor himself, Samuel Crompton of Bolton. The ´mule´ was so named because it combined the actions of two other early machines - the water frame and the spinning jenny - which are also represented in the collections.
The Bolton connection with the textile industry has been developed in more recent years with the acquisition of a range of early 20th century, mainly Bolton made, fine cotton spinning and weaving machinery, mostly in working order. The machinery collection is supplemented by some 800 tools, instruments and equipment used in the local cotton, silk and man-made fibre industries and ancillary trades.
Bolton Museum & Art Gallery´s displays chart the story of Bolton and the people who have lived here. See how people dressed, worked and relaxed or listen to some of the local stories we have collected. Bolton Museum and Art Gallery is one of the largest regional galleries in the North West. It houses collections of fine and decorative art, including examples of British sculpture and contemporary ceramics, egyptology, ethnography and local and natural history.