How Did Eli Whitney Change The World

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The Marvelous Eli Whitney
Have you ever wondered what material was used to make the clothing you are wearing? Well, a lot of it is cotton. Cotton is a very profitable plant, but it is very hard to take the seeds out of the cotton fibers. So, here came a young man that had just graduated college and devised a machine to take the seeds out of the cotton fibers; the machine was called the “cotton gin.” His machine could help a farmer produce up to fifty pounds a day versus only one pound a day. Eli Whitney changed the world by inventing the cotton gin, and creating interchangeable parts for the cotton gin and many other devices, including the muskets which helped introduce mass production. Eli Whitney was born on December 8th, 1765 in Westboro, …show more content…

He headed down to Georgia on a boat. While on the boat he met Catherine Greene, she was a widow of a Revolutionary War general. After meeting Greene he refused to take the job as a tutor that he was offered and he accepted to live with her so he could study Law at her house which was known as Mulberry Grove Plantation. Her house was outside of Savannah, Georgia. While living with Greene, Whitney met Greene’s fiance`, Phineas Miller. He was also a Yale Alumni. While living with Greene, Whitney noticed that there was low profit in the cotton business and it was very difficult to take the seeds out of the fibers. That made it difficult for the farmers because “time is money” as a lot of farmers would say. So, during the winter of 1793, Whitney devised a machine called the “cotton gin” at Greene’s house. He was only twenty-seven years old and had a well-developed machine built and was trying to patent it. On October 28th, 1793 he applied to get his cotton gin patented and on March 14th, 1794 it was patented. The purpose of this machine was to take out the seeds from the cotton fibers. “The impact of Whitney’s gin was vast; after its invention, the yield of raw cotton nearly doubled each decade after 1800” (Hargrett n.pag.). His machine made it so much easier for the farmers. The machine could produce up to fifty pounds of raw cotton a day versus a pound a day without the cotton gin. The basics of this …show more content…

After giving up on the cotton gin Whitney got a contract with the government to make muskets. So, in 1798 Whitney built a firearms factory near New Haven, Connecticut. While making muskets for the government he figured out how to make interchangeable parts for muskets. This introduced mass production. He is known as the “father of mass production.” If you made guns or was a known “gunmaker” you were considered a very skilled or crafted person. Making guns was very difficult then and it is still not easy, now. One reason making guns was very difficult is because you had to do everything by hand and another reason is because you had to craft it yourself and getting everything precise was difficult. Making guns was not the cheapest either. At one point he had a contract to make 10,000 “stand of arms” for $134,000. He did accomplish this but, it did take him ten years to fill it. According to the article of “Arms Production at the Whitney Armory”, a “stand of arms” included the musket and its bayonet and ramrod, both of which also had to fit securely and smoothly to the weapon and be durable in use ( n.pag.). Even after Whitney’s death his factory still stayed in business. His factory was in business for ninety years total! Whitney stayed in the musket business all the way up to his death. He was never a wealthy man but, after years of making muskets for the government he ended up being a fairly wealthy man. “In 1817,

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