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The cotton gin was created in 1793 by a man named Eli Whitney; ..
Eli Whitney was born on December 8, 1765, in Westborough, . Growing up, Whitney, whose father was a farmer, proved to be a talented mechanic and inventor. Among the objects he designed and built as a youth were a nail forge and a violin. In 1792, after graduating from Yale College (now Yale University), Whitney headed to the South. He originally planned to work as a private tutor but instead accepted an invitation to stay with Catherine Greene (1755–1814), the widow of an American Revolutionary War (1775-83) general, on her plantation, known as Mulberry Grove, near Savannah, . While there, Whitney learned about cotton production–in particular, the difficulty cotton farmers faced making a living.
The failure of Eli Whitney’s and Phineas Miller’s cotton ginning business was a result of overextension of obligations, and patent infringement, and success beyond imagining.
A cotton gin on display at the Eli Whitney Museum
In 1794, U.S.-born inventor Eli Whitney (1765-1825) patented the cotton gin, a machine that revolutionized the production of cotton by greatly speeding up the process of removing seeds from cotton fiber. By the mid-19th century, cotton had become America’s leading export. Despite its success, the gin made little money for Whitney due to patent-infringement issues. Also, his invention offered Southern planters a justification to maintain and expand slavery even as a growing number of Americans supported its abolition. Based in part on his reputation for creating the cotton gin, Whitney later secured a major contract to build muskets for the U.S. government. Through this project, he promoted the idea of interchangeable parts–standardized, identical parts that made for faster assembly and easier repair of various devices. For his work, he is credited as a pioneer of American manufacturing.
Some historians believe Catherine Greene devised the cotton gin and Eli Whitney merely built it and applied for the patent, since at that time women were not allowed to file for patents. Others believe the idea was Whitney's but Greene played an important role as both designer and financier.
Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin in 1793
When inventor Eli Whitney arrived in the South in 1793, only green seed cotton could be grown inland. Problem was: the process of removing seeds from the cotton was extremely laborious. So Whitney devised a machine that automatically separated the seeds from cotton much faster than people could with their hands (in only one hour, Whitney's invention de-seeded a day's worth of cotton). When word got out about the Cotton Gin, plantation owners began planting as much green seed cotton as the land would allow.
Though Whitney received a patent for his cotton gin invention in 1794, by that time the invention was being pirated and used all over the country. Ultimately, Whitney left the South with very little to show for the invention that had made croppers millions. However, upon his return to the North, he re-invented American manufacturing with the idea of mass production.
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FREE Essay on Eli Whitney's Cotton Gin - Direct Essays
The "Eli Whitney" section talks about the need for the cotton gin in the early 19th century, what a cotton gin does, how Whitney designed its movements to simulate the movements of human hands, and how conflicts over the device's patent brought him to financial ruin.
An essay or paper on Eli Whitney's Cotton Gin
propose that a society should be formed, without regard to religious tenets, provided, the persons lived an orderly and sober life, in order to support one another in sickness, and for the benefit of their widows and fatherless children." -Preamble of the Free African Society, 1778 was among the first to develop a (short for "engine") that separated seeds from short-staple cotton.
A Biograpy of Eli Whitney, the Creator of the Cotton Gin
Perhaps no one had as great an impact on the development of the industrial north as . Whitney raised eyebrows when he walked into the US Patent office, took apart ten guns, and reassembled them mixing the parts of each gun. Whitney lived in an age where an artisan would handcraft each part of every gun. No two products were quite the same. Whitney's milling machine allowed workers to cut metal objects in an identical fashion, making . It was the start of the concept of mass production. Over the course of time, the device and Whitney's techniques were used to make many others products. used it to make the first workable in 1846. Clockmakers used it to make metal gears. In making the cotton gin, Eli Whitney had played a major part in expanding slavery. In making the to produce precision guns and rifles in a very efficient and effective way, he set the industrial forces of the North in motion.
invention by Eli Whitney, the cotton gin.
You might have your students explore the extent the cotton gin changed the method of production on plantations. After reading these two accounts, discuss if this was a different way of production or an extension and intensification of a traditional, perhaps pre-modern system. You can also discuss how the cotton gin led to the reliance on cotton, which had important social, economic, political, and environmental effects.
Eli Whitney: Inventor of the Cotton Gin
While Eli Whitney is best known for inventing the cotton gin, he is also credited with the invention of the cotton milling machine. However, historians are not quite sure if he was the sole inventor of the cotton milling machine or if others were also working on the invention of these milling machines during the same time period. Being a true inventor at heart, Eli Whitney never stopped working on his inventions until his death on January 8, 1825. In the years before he died, Eli invented mechanical devices designed to help ease the pain of his prostrate cancer.
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