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Sunday, 27 July 2014

Cotton Picking

American inventor Eli Whitney was granted a patent for the cotton gin on March 14, 1794. This simple device quickly removed the tiny seeds from cotton. Prior to the cotton gin, a slave produced one pound of lint in ten hours.

The cotton gin (see below) increased the yield to nearly 1,000 pounds per day, which caused the cotton-producing American states to increase their yield ten times over.

The unwillingness of planters to pay for the rights to use the gin brought many lawsuits. Whitney's machine was copied, his patent was infringed, and his factory was set on fire.

Though Eli Whitney eventually won in court (1807), he profited very little from his invention. He made more money as a gun manufacturer than he did from the cotton gin.

 Eli Whitney's cotton gin is short for "cotton engine".

By 1800 cotton production had increased from about 3,000 bales a year to 73,000. Whitney's cotton-cleaning invention brought prosperity to the South.

In 1944  a mechanical cotton picker was invented. By this stage only 5% of the Cotton crop was picked by hand.

Source Europress Encyclopedia

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