You may be wearing clothes that are made from cotton, but have you ever wondered how people were able to process cottons? Back before cotton gins were invented, labor was required to separate the cottons from its seeds, which took a considerable amount of time. Cotton gins were invented by Eli Whitney, and its purpose was to separate cottons from its seeds, instead of having to separate them by hand. The 4 main points that will be covered will first be more about the inventor of the cotton gin, Eli Whitney.
He was born on December 8, 1765 in Westboro, Massachusetts. He invented the cotton gin in order to make separating cottons from their seeds easier, and also to earn money. Second, learning more about cottons.
Cottons had their own problem which were, of course, being separated from its seed by hand. This lead to having the cotton gin to be invented. Not only that, they were put into uses for people to use. Third, the solution that cotton gins brought. Cotton gins separated cotton from their seeds at least faster than done by hand, which made it more easier and so a lot of people and even slaves didn’t have to separate them.
Fourth and last of all, how cotton gins dragged the positive and negative impacts that impacted the American and Southern economy. The cotton gin had an impact on the American and Southern economy and affected slave labor on the plantations.To begin, we will be discussing about the inventor of the cotton gins, Eli Whitney. He was born on December 8, 1765 in Westboro, Massachusetts. Whitney was into machine works plus technology because he used to pick apart and assemble an object back when he was little.
He finished high school and attended Yale College and settled with teaching. Once he graduated from Yale College in 1792, he got a job offer as a tutor. But he declined it when he met and befriended Catherine Greene. He accepted the offer to read laws at the plantation owned by Greene, which is called Mulberry Grove. He got the opportunity to work on his invention in the winter, located in a workshop that was provided by Greene. Based off on the quote from the text on Ducksters, it states, “After high school, Whitney attended Yale College. There he studied a variety of subjects including mathematics, Greek, Latin, and philosophy. Upon graduating in 1792, he hoped to study law, but was short on money so he accepted a job as a tutor in Georgia.
While traveling to Georgia, Whitney met a lady named Mrs. Greene. Mrs. Greene was the widow of the Revolutionary War hero General Nathaniel Greene. She owned a large plantation called Mulberry Grove in Georgia.
The two became friends and Whitney decided to turn down his tutor job and stay at Mulberry Grove.” This quote from the text shows that after graduating from college, he met Catherine Greene and stayed over at her plantation, the Mulberry Grove to study laws. This is how he started inventing a machine that can clean cottons. He worked on his machine in Greene’s workshop. He designed the cotton gin to have wire screens and as well as small hooks, cylinders, and other parts of the machine. This can help clean cottons faster.
After he was done with his invention, he presented his creation at Greene’s plantation to demonstrate his cotton cleaning machine. Based off on this text from Ducksters, it states, “Eli invented a machine he called the cotton gin. He used a wire screen in combination with small hooks to pull the cotton fibers through. His new machine could clean more cotton in a few hours than a number of workers could in a day.
” According to the text, this means that when Whitney was inventing a machine, he designed his machine which is called the cotton gin to have wire screens with small hooks. These physical features to them helped clean cottons which is having the small hooks pulling the cottons. Let’s also not to forget that there are other features to it as well such as the cylinder and the brusher parts. This however earned Whitney money from his invention and soon, he was working together with Miller, getting into partnership. Whitney was supposed to move to North Haven in order to secure his own patent plus his machines. Miller, however, stayed back in the South to see where the machines were placed. In this quote from a text in Eli Whitney Museum, it states, “Whitney had gone into partnership with Miller.
The agreement was that Whitney was to go to North Haven, secure his patent, and begin manufacturing machines, while Miller was to remain in the South and see that the machines were placed.” This shows how the two partners, Whitney and Miller worked together and made partnership that one will go, secure his patent, and manufacture his machines, while one stays behind to see where they are placed. Unfortunately, Whitney had patent-law issues which made him unable to profit his machine. He moved on but also had a contract secured from the government of U.S. to build a certain amount of muskets in about 2 years, in 1798. By 1817, he then married Henrietta Edwards.
On this website called History.com, it states, “Patent-law issues prevented Whitney from ever significantly profiting from the cotton gin; however, in 1798, he secured a contract from the U.S. government to produce 10,000 muskets in two years, an amount that had never been manufactured in such a short period.” This shows that after Whitney invented his machine, he at some point had patent-law issues, meaning he wasn’t able to profit the machine he invented. However he did had a contract secured in which he has to make over 10,000 muskets in 2 years. This soon would lead him to move on and also as well as marrying a woman. That isn’t all though, he also makes interchangeable parts and milling as his other inventions.
Overall, Whitney was an inventor, mechanical engineer, and a manufacturer. He invented the cotton gin so that he was able to make the process of picking all the seeds out of the cottons much quicker and expected it to require less people to separate the cottons from their seeds by hands. Mainly, Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin to fasten up the process to clean and separate the cottons. Next, cottons weren’t much of a cash crop, unlike tobacco, rice, and etc.
There are cottons where it can grow as the inland long-staple cottons and the upland short-staple cottons. For the cotton that have grown inland, there would be sticky seeds plus the staple that are attached to the cottons and this however, took extensive time to separate them. According to American Historama, it states, “The only variety that grew inland had sticky green seeds and it was extremely time consuming to pick the seeds out of the fluffy white cotton bolls. The shrubby plants produced white flowers, followed by small green seed pods (called cotton bolls), which contained the seeds.
Cotton is harvested when the bolls open and the arduous task of cleaning the cotton began.” This quote from the text states that there were cottons that grew either inland or upland which determines whether they are long-staple cotton or short-staple cotton. They do have sticky seeds in the cottons which is why they became a problem, because it took a considerable time. Back then, cottons were used in many different ways.
Either clothing, industrial purposes, homewares, furniture, or anything else. They were useful but uses up a lot of cotton, meaning it takes a long time to pick out the seeds and clean them just to make for example, a piece of clothing like a shirt. According to Cotton Australia, it states, “Cotton is known for its versatility, performance and natural comfort.
It’s used to make all kinds of clothes and homewares as well as for industrial purposes like tarpaulins, tents, hotel sheets and army uniforms.” This shows that cottons were put into good and helpful uses and for industrial purposes as well. During this time period of between 1700-1800s, cottons were referred to as King Cotton. The reason why is because cottons were picked by slaves and this crop was in high demand from America and Europe, before Civil War. On ThoughtCo.
the quote from the text states, “King Cotton was a phrase coined in the years before the Civil War to refer to the economy of the American South. The southern economy was particularly dependent on cotton. And, as cotton was very much in demand, both in America and Europe, it created a special set of circumstances.” The quote from the text shows that before Civil War ever occurred, cottons were crops that were in demand for them both from America and Europe.
Which was why, cottons had a title or phrase of King Cotton. Cottons were important after all, but not popular at first. Before cotton gins were invented, cottons were cleaned and separated from their seeds, as it was said. This lead to the unpopularity of cottons because of how much time it takes to clean and separate batches which caused slow shippings unlike tobacco, rice, and many others.
However, once the cotton gins were invented, the process quickened. Since cleaning cottons and getting the seeds out now took quick and less time, this made the shipments of cottons faster. Meaning that cottons soon became popular and a cash crop but it affected other industries. According to National Archives, it states, “After the invention of the cotton gin, the yield of raw cotton doubled each decade after 1800. Demand was fueled by other inventions of the Industrial Revolution, such as the machines to spin and weave it and the steamboat to transport it. By midcentury America was growing three-quarters of the world’s supply of cotton, most of it shipped to England or New England where it was manufactured into cloth.
During this time tobacco fell in value, rice exports at best stayed steady, and sugar began to thrive, but only in Louisiana.” This shows that when cotton gin came into place, cottons started to rise up their value to a cash crop value and push the other cash crops’ values and lower them. Overall, cottons are useful and became cash crops because of the cotton gin that Whitney had invented.Later on, Eli Whitney invented cotton gins, in which they became a solution. Cotton gins became a solution because they were designed to have wire screens and hookers to pull the fibers, brushers to clean the cottons, cylinders, and other features. According to Encyclopedia.com, it states, “His machine used spiked teeth set into a wooden cylinder to pull the cotton fibers through the slots in a metal breastplate; the slots were too small to allow the seeds to pass through.
A second cylinder with brushes freed the fibers from the teeth. Court cases involving competing patents for gins with sawtoothed cylinders were found in Whitney’s favor; the saw pattern would eventually be preferred as the more efficient system of gin design.” and another quote from the text from Ducksters, “Eli invented a machine he called the cotton gin. He used a wire screen in combination with small hooks to pull the cotton fibers through. His new machine could clean more cotton in a few hours than a number of workers could in a day.” Both of these quotes shows how the machine was designed and how it was able to pull the fibers in order to to separate cotton from the seeds and clean them as well. This however, made the process of cleaning and separating much easier and faster, thanks to Whitney and the cotton gin. According to the text in History.
com it states, “The invention, called the cotton gin (“gin” was derived from “engine”), worked something like a strainer or sieve: Cotton was run through a wooden drum embedded with a series of hooks that caught the fibers and dragged them through a mesh. The mesh was too fine to let the seeds through but the hooks pulled the cotton fibers through with ease. Smaller gins could be cranked by hand; larger ones could be powered by a horse and, later, by a steam engine.” This shows that cotton gins made the process of separating and cleaning faster because the machine consisted of hooks which pulled the fibers against the mesh making the seeds separate but not for the seeds to easily fall through the mesh. These cleaning machines helped reduce demands for labor and slave.
The reason why is because since separating the sticky seeds from the cottons took much time, this would have meant they needed more people to separate them, meaning slaves. However, since the cotton gin does clean a lot of cottons and have it separated from the seeds each a day, this would be plausible that this reduced the demanding for slave and labor. According to Buzzle, it states, “With the invention of the cotton gin, the method of harvesting cotton became much more convenient, because it did not require to carry out the back-breaking effort of separating the cotton from its seeds, hulls, and other impurities. Therefore, all those long hours of labor were eliminated and getting cotton as a raw material became easier and a lot faster.” This quote from the text shows how cotton gins reduced the need for labor because a cotton gin can wipe out at least 50 cottons separated from their seeds a day, which is twice the amount for an average person to take time to pick the seeds out of the cottons.
Not just that, but the invention also had Whitney earned money because of it. Usually if anyone uses the gin, they would be charged in fees. According to American Historama, it states, “They charged farmers an unusually high fee, two-fifths of the profit paid, for doing the ‘ginning’.” The quote shows that farmers who are ‘ginning’ would be charged with high fees, meaning they have to pay. This made Whitney earn money.
Mainly, cotton gins became a solution when the invention was presented. Cotton gins had useful design features on it in order to function in which how they are able to easily separate seeds from the cottons and clean them afterwards.Although, the very fourth and final one, the cotton gins brought a solution, it also brought positive and negative impacts as well. Let’s start off with the positive impacts first. Lands and farms were expanded in order to grow more cottons, that became a cash crop. Since cottons were now popular, people had to expand the land and farms to plant more cottons. According to Buzzle, it states, “Since cotton was a cash crop, it generated huge revenue. Plantation holders and industrialists set up large farms and some of them resorted to illegal means of land usurpation.
” This shows that the cash crop, cotton, needed large farms and because they made a huge revenue. Next, rail routes, shipping and transportation industries were developed highly. They were created in the North because many cottons needed at least some kind of shipping industry.
According to the quote from the text in Buzzle, it states, “Cotton industries were treated as superb. Rail routes, shipping and transportation facilities were highly developed in the North and the cotton industry received superb leverage there. Thus, you can well understand the fact that an industrial turmoil was created in the United States after introduction of the cotton gin.” The quote from the text shows how cotton industries were viewed and treated as superb to people because they were valuable cash crop.
However, there are negative impacts as well that the cotton gin created. Cotton became a profitable crop that it encouraged slavery when cotton gins were invented. Cotton gins did reduce the amount of slaves needed to separate the seeds out of cottons, but that did not reduce the needs of slaves to plant and grow and harvest cottons. According to Buzzle, it states, “While it was true that the cotton gin reduced the labor of removing seeds, it did not reduce the need for slaves to grow and pick the cotton. In fact, the opposite occurred. Cotton growing became so profitable for the planters that it greatly increased their demand for both land and slave labor.” This shows that cotton gins however did reduce the need of slaves in order to separate the seeds from cottons, but slaves were needed in order to pick and grow cottons in order for the cotton gin to do its job. Even though cotton gins made cotton popular and turn into a cash crop, that doesn’t mean other industries were affected by this.
According to Buzzle, it states, “Other agricultural sectors like tobacco and rice suffered a loss as they were paid least attention to.” This quote from the text shows that the other cash crops; tobacco, rice, etc, suffered and lost their complete value when cotton came into view because everyone demanded for cotton. This caused for the cash crops to fall out of place and be affected by the cotton industries. Overall, the cotton gins had brought an impact on the American and Southern economy and affected slave labor on the plantations. Basically, Eli Whitney was known for inventing cotton gins, cleaning machines, to make the process of separating the cotton from the seeds faster, successfully.
Next, cottons were not popular yet before cotton gins were invented because it was difficult to take out the sticky green seeds out of the cotton. Cottons were soon known to be a cash crop after cotton gins were invented. Third, cotton gins made it easier and faster to separate seeds and cottons and this made less requirements for slaves to separate the seeds from the cottons. Lastly, there were positive and negative effects as well, to which more slave and labor was encouraged, other industries were affected, expanded farms and lands since cottons were now cash crops, and cotton industries treated as a superb while rail routes and other transportation routes were created. In conclusion, the cotton gins had a great impact on the American and Southern economy. Eli Whitney invented the cotton gins which was only used for separating and cleaning cottons which made it easier and faster, but these results however, had a greater impact and this affected other industries, encouraged slavery, and made the cotton industry viewed as the superb, and made farms and lands expand.