Eli Whitney Biography and Invention

213 views 3 pages ~ 736 words
Get a Custom Essay Writer Just For You!

Experts in this subject field are ready to write an original essay following your instructions to the dot!

Hire a Writer

Eli Whitney is the inventor of the cotton gin and changed the course of history in the southern United States, which helped many southern plantation owners through cotton crops, but it also increased the demand for slaves. Until the invention of cotton had to be cleaned with your fingers, it took a long time and was very expensive, so cotton fabrics were considered a luxury. Whitney's invention increased productivity hundreds of times, his device literally breathed new life into the plantations of the South. According to many historians, it is this invention that delayed for half a century the escalation of the abolition of slavery.

Whitney’s Biography and Invention

Eli Whitney was born on December 8, 1765, in Westborough, Massachusetts, in the family of Eli and Elizabeth Whitney, Eli enjoyed working in his father's studio, he was interested in tools and machines more than farming. He loved to find out how things worked: once he disassembled his father's valuable watch to see how it worked, and then he realized that he would have to collect it, otherwise he would get into big trouble, the watch worked great after that (“Eli Whitney”). Whitney’s background as well as his inventiveness would later allow him to create a machine that changed the textile industry in the United States.

Read also: Use the top paper writing services to get flawless essays.

After high school, Whitney attended Yale College where he studied mathematics, Greek, Latin, and philosophy, in 1792 he hoped to study law, but money was not enough, so he took a job as an educator in Georgia, where he met a woman named Mrs. Green, who was the widow of the hero of the War of Independence, General Nathaniel Green. She owned a large plantation called Mulberry Grove, they got married, and Whitney decided to quit his tutoring job and stay at Mulberry Grove. While in Mulberry Grove, Whitney learned about cotton production and found that most plantations could only grow a type of cotton called 'short-staple cotton', but staple cotton was difficult and expensive to clean because the seeds had to be removed by hand. For this reason, many plantation owners in the South stopped growing cotton (Bagley 17). Whitney, however, took the fact for a challenge as well as attempted to develop new ways cotton could be purified.

Whitney loved to build machines and solve problems, but he wanted to help clean the seeds of cotton and invented the machine he called cotton gin. 'Gin' is 'cotton gin' is an abbreviated version of the word 'engine'. He used wire mesh in combination with small hooks to stretch cotton fibers. The new machine was able to clean more cotton in a few hours than the number of workers per day (“Eli Whitney”). This would allow Whitney to acquire almost purified cotton that would eventually be used in the textile industry, making Whitney one of the most influential inventors of modernity.

With the help of his business partners, Whitney received a patent for his new invention, but people simply copied his new car, and he got nothing. He tried to fight them in court, but he ran out of money and did not get rich with his patent. Many plantation owners were able to make a lot of money by growing cotton using cotton gin, which had the unpredictable effect that more slaves were needed (Bagley 27). Over the next few years, slaves became even more important and valuable to plantation owners, so some historians point to the influence of the cotton gin on slavery as a possible cause of the civil war.


On March 14, 1797, the American Eli Whitney received a patent for the machine he had invented a year earlier to quickly and efficiently separate cotton fiber from seeds, husks, and other impurities. The principle of operation was as follows: hooks hooked fibers and pulled them through a fine wire mesh, freeing them from sticky debris. Although Whitney did not get rich on cotton gin, he still became famous and promoted the idea of ​​replaceable parts for production. He received a contract from the government to make muskets and played an important role in promoting the idea of ​​mass production.

Useful info: TopEssayWriting – the best research proposal writing service!

Works Cited

"Eli Whitney". Biography, 2020, https://www.biography.com/inventor/eli-whitney.

Bagley, Katie. Eli Whitney: American Inventor. Bridgestone Books, 2003.

June 27, 2022



Plants Slavery Scientist

Number of pages


Number of words




Writer #



Verified writer

GeraldKing is an amazing writer who will help you with History tasks. He is the friendliest person who will provide you with explanations because he really wants you to learn. Recommended for your history or anthropology assignments!

Hire Writer

This sample could have been used by your fellow student... Get your own unique essay on any topic and submit it by the deadline.

Eliminate the stress of Research and Writing!

Hire one of our experts to create a completely original paper even in 3 hours!

Hire a Pro