The Cotton Gin

Eli Whitney

The cotton gin was made by Eli Whitney.

The cotton gin is a device for removing seeds from cotton.

It was made in 1794. Eli Whitney was an American inventor best known for inventing the cotton gin. This was one of the key inventions of the Industrial Revolution and shaped the economy of the Antebellum South. Whitney's invention made upland short cotton into a profitable crop, which strengthened the economic foundation of slavery in the United States.

Eli Whitney was a Yankee from New England

It was invented on a trip to the South. First factories were cotton textile mills. The word gin is short for engine. The cotton gin was a wooden drum stuck with hooks that pulled the cotton fibers through a mesh. The cotton seeds would not fit through the mesh and fell outside. Whitney occasionally told a story wherein he was pondering an improved method of seeding the cotton when he was inspired by observing a cat attempting to pull a chicken through a fence, and could only pull through some of the feathers.