Grateful American® Foundation

Which device, patented today, revolutionized the cotton industry?

March 14th

440px-Whitney_GinMarch 14, 1794: Eli Whitney (December 8, 1765 – January 8, 1825) officially patented the cotton gin machine today. His device revolutionized the cotton industry, and changed the lives of many in the southern states of America.

Born in Westborough, Massachusetts in 1765, Whitney was reared in a rigid Puritan atmosphere, and worked hard from a young age to help support his family. At 20, he became a schoolmaster, saving up his small salary to attend Yale.

After college he was looking for employment and met Caty Greene, the widow of Revolutionary War hero Nathanael Greene. She took him under her wing and made use of his cleverness to construct items useful to her plantation.

Words of Wisdom

One of my primary objects is to form the tools so the tools themselves shall fashion the work and give to every part its just proportion.

— Eli Whitney (December 8, 1765 – January 8, 1825) 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.

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