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Science
Published: Feb 10, 2012
Eli Whitney Inventions: The Cotton Gin Inventor, The First Milling Machine
by Staff

Who invented the cottin gin? It was Eli Whitney. Whitney, a Yale University student, made short cotton into a profitable crop.

Wikipedia writes: "The cotton gin is a mechanical device that removes the seeds from cotton, a process that had previously been extremely labor intensive. 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.

A single cotton gin could generate up to 55 pounds (25 kg) of cleaned cotton daily. This contributed to the economic development of the Southern states of the United States, a prime cotton growing area; some historians believe that this invention allowed for the African slavery system in the Southern United States to become more sustainable at a critical point in its development."

Whitney is also credited with creating the first milling machine.

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