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Eli Whitney

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Eli Whitney

Before the invention of the cotton gin, Americans would remove cottonseed by hand. Slaves were hired to complete this procedure. This would take a very long time and something had to be done. Later on, a man named Eli Whitney invented a device called the cotton gin. The cotton gin is a machine for removing the seeds from cotton fiber. His invention could produce up to fifty pounds of cotton each day. Eli Whitney was born in Westboro, Massachusetts in the year 1765. As a child, he was very talented in machinery. He worked as a blacksmith and invented a nail making machine. Whitney had a dream to go to Yale College, and worked extremely hard to achieve his goals. He finally got accepted and graduated at the age of 27. When he graduated, he found that there were no jobs in engineering and decided to take on teaching. This also didn't work out so he stayed on his friends' cotton plantation. He found that the plantations were soon going to go bankrupt because of the high cost of producing cotton at such a slow pace. Many people realized that a device was needed to decrease the time it took to separate the seed from the cotton, but no one was able to succeed. Within ten days Eli Whitney was already starting his first attempt to invent a machine to help this problem. Whitney failed the first try but tried a second time and succeeded. Therefore, the creation of the cotton gin developed.

Eli Whitney's machine was the first to clean short-staple cotton. His cotton engine was made of spiked teeth that were on a revolving cylinder which when turned by a crank, pulled the cotton fiber through small openings to separate the seeds from the lint. L-ter on, the gins became horse-drawn and were powered by water. As a result, the cotton was being produced at a much faster pace. The price of cotton also decreased. Cotton soon became the number one selling good.

After the invention of the cotton gin, the production of unprocessed cotton doubled each decade after 1800. Other inventions of the Industrial Revolution were the machines to spin and weave cotton and the steamboat to transport it. America was growing three quarters of the world's supply of cotton in the mid-century. Most of it was shipped to England or New England where it was made into cloth. During this time, tobacco's value decreased, rice exports stayed at the same price, and sugar began to flourish,



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