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 !
7 Apr. 2014. . !
History Online Textbook, n.d. Web. 7 Apr. 2014. !
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