Effects of the Cotton Gin

Topics: Southern United States, American Civil War, Cotton Pages: 4 (1088 words) Published: September 28, 2014
Effects of the Cotton Gin


Eli Whitney invented the Cotton Gin around 1763. At the time he invented the

engine Whitney lived with Catherine Greene, a widowed plantation owner. While staying with Greene, Whitney learned a lot about the production of cotton. He learned it was a tedious, time consuming and labor intensive job. Whitney was a graduate of Yale and was talented in the field of mechanics and inventive engineering. Eli’s solution was simple, an engine that separated the cotton after it was picked. The gin would assist farmers who had a difficulty making a living off of the crop because of the work that went into harvesting. Some history experts have shared the idea that Catherine Greene actually came up with the cotton gin and Eli Whitney built it. It was Eli who applied for the patent perhaps because at the time women could not file for patents. (History.com Staff. "Cotton Gin and Eli Whitney.")!


To the southern farmers, cotton was the perfect crop. The climate was practical

for the crop’s growth, which made it very easy to grow. The cotton fibers could be stored for long periods of time, as opposed to food crops. Food couldn’t be kept for long periods of time. In the long run cotton was more profitable. The only problem with the seemingly flawless crop was that it was so labor intensive. On a good day, a farmer could only separate and remove the seeds from a pound of cotton. Each individual stalk of the the short stalk cotton plant had to be washed by hand. Eli saw the issues with cotton picking first hand, and the difficulties were described to him by Greene and her plantation manager. They worked together to come up with the engine that worked as a sieve to separate the cotton. His first machines were smaller and could be started and worked by hand. The smaller machines cranked by hand could separate the seeds from

The Positive and Negative Affects of the Cotton Gin
fifty pounds of cotton a day, where as by hand you could only...

Bibliography: 1) Craven, Avery. The Coming of the Civil War. Chicago and London: University !
     Chicago, 1942
     7 Apr. 2014. . !
6) Ushistory.org
     History Online Textbook, n.d. Web. 7 Apr. 2014. !
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