Eli Whitney: The Inventor That Shook The Nation

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Eli Whitney, one of the first great American inventors, who had a very interesting inventing period. It pretty much didn't happen. But I'll explain that later. I chose Eli for a very good reason: I knew absolutely nothing about him. Well, other than the given, he invented the cotton gin. I've always enjoyed researching inventors, so it was either Mr. Whitney, or Robert Fulton. Happily I chose Eli. From studying Eli I hoped to learn about some of his other inventions, what inspired him to invent, in what conditions did he grow up and live in, and also what did his inventions lead to (as in other inventions or discoveries). Since I knew nothing about the E-ster when I began, I was eagerly soaking up information. So I knew nothing to be true or false when beginning. He proved to be a very interesting and almost tragic inventor. Now I'll get into the information part of it. Well, I may as well begin in the beginning . . . you know what I mean. Mr. Whitney was born on December 8, 1769 in Westborough, Massachusetts. He was one of the first great American inventors. It probably began early on because he always enjoyed toying with objects. He loved to build and take apart items. When he was twelve, he made a violin. Shortly after, when he was in his teens, he established a prominent nail making business. Later on, 1783-1789 to be exact, he taught grammar school in Westborough. When he'd had enough of that, he entered Yale in 1789, then graduated in 1792. After Yale, he journeyed to Savannah, Georgia to teach and study law. There he met Catherine Littlefield Greene. She invited him as a guest to stay in her home while he studied law. Eli believed he should start fixing things to earn his keep around the house. After many of the visitors to Mrs. Greene's house, a certain couple began to discuss the south and their needs. Eventually, the talk fell upon cotton, and how useless the cotton that grew there was. It took ten hours of hand work to separate the cotton from the seeds. That was when Mrs. Greene suggested they ask Mr. Whitney. She said: quote "Gentlemen, apply to my young friend, Mr. Whitney. He can make anything." Unquote. He watched how people would go about doing this and in ten days, he had created a prototype of the

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