Eli Whitney Fact 1: Eli
Whitney was born
on December 8th 1765 during the 18th century, when there
were huge strides in science and
innovations generally as well as in
Eli Whitney Fact 2: When he was
fourteen years of age Eli Whitney began
manufacturing nails in his father’s
workshop, it was during the
Revolutionary War and was a
Eli Whitney Fact 3: When his
stepmother refused permission for
him to attend college, Eli Whitney would be
not be dissuaded so embarked on
earning money by teaching in school
and farm laboring.
Eli Whitney Fact 4: He enrolled
in 1789 and graduated Phi Beta Kappa
in the year 1792. With the intention
of continuing on to law school he
found he had insufficient funds and
instead accepted an offer tutor
privately in South Carolina.
Eli Whitney Fact 5: Before
reaching journeys end Eli Whitney was
persuaded to visit Georgia instead
on the journey there he encountered
the family and widow of
Revolutionary hero General Nathanael
Eli Whitney Fact 6: Having struck
up a friendship with Mrs Greene he
was again persuaded to visit her
home, Mulberry Grove, where he made
the acquaintance of Phineas Miller,
the plantation manager and fiancé of
Eli Whitney Fact 7: Having spent
time around cotton plantations and
mills Eli Whitney soon saw that there was a
problem with the separation of
cotton from the seed.
Eli Whitney Fact 8: The black
seed long staple variety was easily
separated from its seed but could
only be grown coastally.
Eli Whitney Fact 9: The Green
seed short staple variety could be
grown in much greater quantities but
the cotton was far more difficult to
remove from the seed.
Eli Whitney Fact 10: Having
witnessed what the problem was Eli
invented a machine, the cotton gin
that was able to pick the cotton
away from the seed.
Eli Whitney Fact 11: Eli
his patent for his cotton gin in
1794 but his plans for utilizing the
machine did not go as he wished.
Eli Whitney Fact 12: Together
with his partner, Phineas Miller,
the idea was to manufacture the gins
and charge the planters to separate
out their cotton but they would not
happy paying the costs and the gins
became easily copied.
Eli Whitney Fact 13: Although
prosecuted any number of planters’
he soon found he lost more money
that he could afford to.
Eli Whitney Fact 14: By 1797,
with the potential for war with
France, the government were
contracting for the manufacturing of
Eli Whitney Fact 15: Eli
machine tools that were made to
produce one part of a musket which
meant that an unskilled worker could
produce a particular part and then
all the parts could be fitted
together and thus mass production
was possible and not one skilled man
making one musket at a time.
Eli Whitney Fact 16: Although the
idea was sound Eli Whitney was given two
years to complete 10,000 muskets. In
fact it took him eight years to
produce his quota but on
demonstrating his idea in Washington
D.C. in front of Thomas Jefferson
and other dignitaries the birth of
mass production was witnessed and
Eli Whitney Fact 17: Eli
soon become one of the leading arms
manufacturers of his time.
Eli Whitney Fact 18: Eli
Whitney died on
January 8th 1825 of prostate cancer
in New Haven, Connecticut, United
Influence & Legacy: Eli
unfortunately be responsible for a
surge in the slave trade as a result
of his cotton gin. In the South the
use of slaves was slowly dying out
and some owners had even given the
slaves away but with the
introduction of the cotton gin the
slave trade thrived.
Important Events of the 18th
century and during the life of Eli
The invention of the flushing toilet
by Alexander Cummings.
of the Steamship by Jacques Perrier.
Gas Lighting was invented by William
The first Ambulance was
put to work.