Eli Whitney and the Cotton Gin.

Essay by passion2004College, Undergraduate November 2003

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The Industrial Revolution is mostly remembered for its replacement of manual labor with the textile industry. Machineries were one of the most important aspects of the Industrial Revolution ((Encarta Online Encyclopedia). During the Industrial Revolution there were many inventions. The cotton gin was probably one of the most important of them all.

Eli Whitney was born in Westborough, Massachusetts on December 08, 1765 (Encarta Encyclopedia). As a small boy growing up in Massachusetts, Whitney's mechanical skills never went un-noticed. Whitney made his first violin when he was 12 and established his own nail-making business by the time he was a teenager (Hurt, R. Douglas 297).

In 1792, Whitney moved to Savannah, Georgia for a teaching job, and found out the job was already filled. He then met Mrs. Catherine Littlefield Greene, a widow of a war hero, General Nathanael Greene (Hurt 297). Whitney at this time was offered by Mrs.

Greene to be a guest while he studied law there, He agreed (Hurt 297). Whitney decided to start fixing up things around the house for his re-payment of her kindness (Hurt 297). His work did not go un-noticed in the eyes of Mrs. Greene either. While discussing the green seed cotton with others and how they could not grow it well enough for profits because of the time it took to clean the seeds out of the fibers (Hurt 297). Mrs. Greene announced, "Mr. Whitney can make a machine to clean it" (Hurt 297). By April 1793 Whitney had invented the first cotton gin in America (Encarta).

Whitney's cotton gin, was also called a saw gin it consisted of four parts: (1) a hopper to feed the cotton into the gin (2) a revolving cylinder studded with hundreds of short wire hooks, closely set...