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Achievements of eli whitney an american inventor

After graduation in the fall of 1792, Whitney was disappointed twice in promised teaching posts. The second offer was in Georgiawhere, stranded without employment, short of cash, and far from home, he was befriended by Catherine Greene.

Miller and Whitney became friends. At a time when English mills were hungry for cottonthe South exported a small amount of the black-seed, long-staple variety.

Eli Whitney Inventions and Accomplishments

Though it could easily be cleaned of its seed by passing it through a pair of rollers, its cultivation was limited to the coast. On the other hand, a green-seed, short-staple variety that grew in the interior resisted cleaning; its fibre adhered to the seed. Whitney saw that a machine to clean the green-seed cotton could make the South prosperous and make its inventor rich. He set to work and constructed a crude model. Replica of Eli Whitney's 1793 cotton gin. The Bettmann Archive After perfecting his machine Whitney secured a patent 1794and he and Miller went into business manufacturing and servicing the new gins.

However, the unwillingness of the planters to pay the service costs and the ease with which the gins could be pirated put the partners out of business by 1797. The action was followed by similar settlements with North CarolinaTennessee, and, finally and reluctantly, Georgia.

Whitney learned much from his experience.

He knew his own competence and integritywhich were acknowledged and respected. He redirected his mechanical and entrepreneurial talents to other projects in which his system for manufacturing gins was applicable. In 1797 the government, threatened by war with France, solicited 40,000 muskets from private contractors because the two national armories had produced only 1,000 muskets in three years.

Eli Whitney

Twenty-six contractors bid for a total of 30,200. Like the government armories, they used the conventional method whereby a skilled workman fashioned a complete musketforming and fitting each part. Thus, each weapon was unique; if a part broke, its replacement had to be especially made. Whitney broke with this tradition with a plan to supply 10,000 muskets in two years.

  • 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;
  • Library of Congress, Washington, D.

He designed machine tools by which an unskilled workman made only a particular part that conformed precisely, as precision was then measured, to a model. The sum of such parts was a musket.

Eli Whitney Museum

Any part would fit any musket of that design. He had grasped the concept of interchangeable parts.

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Library of Congress, Washington, D. He constantly had to plead for time while struggling against unforeseen obstacles, such as epidemics and delays in supplies, to create a new system of production.

Finally, he overcame most of the skepticism in 1801, when, in Washington, D.

Eli Whitney

They were the witnesses at the inauguration of the American system of mass production. Of his four children, three survived, including Eli Whitney, Jr.