Eli Whitney Essay

1012 words - 5 pages

Historians believe that one of the greatest pioneers in the birth of automation,American inventor, pioneer, mechanical engineer, and manufacturer Eli Whitney. Bestremembered as the inventor of the cotton gin. He made his first violin when he was only12. Eli started college when he was 23, in 1788. He left for Georgia and got his first lookat cotton business. He graduated from Yale in 1792, and went to Savannah, Georgia toteach and study law. After he graduated he went south to tutor the children of a wealthyplantation owner. He taught school for five years. Eli Whitney made and sold nails duringthe Revolutionary war. In 1798 Eli obtained a government contract to make 10,000muskets. In 1 ...view middle of the document...

By 1793 he designed and constructed a machine called the cotton gin, thatquickly separated cotton seed from the shortstaple cotton fiber. The first cotton gin was awooden box that spun around a drum and picked the cotton seed with wire hooks.CottonGin, machine used to separate the fibers of cotton from the seeds. Before the invention ofthe cotton gin, seeds had to be removed from cotton fibers by hand; this labor-intensiveand time-consuming process made growing and harvesting cotton uneconomical. Thecotton gin allowed the seeds to be removed mechanically and rapidly from the cottonfibers, making cotton production economical and leading to dramatic growth in the UnitedStates cotton industry. This expansion contributed to an increase of slave labor in theUnited States.Whitney's cotton gin, also called a saw gin, consisted of a cylinder to which anumber of sawlike teeth were attached. As the cylinder revolved, the teeth passed throughthe closely spaced ribs of a fixed comb. When cotton was fed into the gin, the teeth caughtthe cotton fibers and pulled them through the comb. The seeds, which were too large topass between the ribs, were left behind,( This principle, with virtually no modifications, isstill employed in modern automatic saw gins used to process the bulk of the U.S. cottoncrop).After perfecting his machine he filed an application for a patent on June 20, 1793; inFebruary 1794 he deposited a model at the Patent Office, and on March 14 he received hispatent.Whitney's gin brought the South prosperity.Whit...

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