What is the cotton gin and who invented it?I can't find anything about him at the library, and there are no good web sites about him.

Expert Answers
ladyvols1 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Eli Whitney was the inventor of the Cotton Gin.  He invented this revolutionary machine in 1793.  It was considered a boon for production of cotton fiber for the south because it was an automated way to separate the seed from the cotton.  Up until the invention of the cotton gin the seeds had to be separated from the cotton by hand.  After the invention cotton could be put into the machine and the seeds were separated much faster and much cleaner than had ever been done before.

"In 1793 Whitney made a cotton-cleaning machine that was operated by turning a crank, which rotated a cylinder covered with wire teeth. The teeth pulled the cotton fiber, carrying it through slots in the cylinder as it revolved. Since the slots were too small for the seeds, the seeds were left behind. A roller with brushes then removed the fibers from the wire teeth. In one day, a single cotton gin operated by one person could clean as much cotton as fifty slaves had processed in a day's time. "

shemsham | Student

Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin. It was used to separate the cotton from the seed.It could do the job of 50 workers.

alquan3 | Student

The cotton gin (engine) was a machine that allowed southern farmers to grow short-fiber cotton for profit. Boomed the production of cottin and produced an need for more slaves increasing slavery. The inventor was Eli Whitley.

zumba96 | Student

Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin. During the early 1700s, cotton was in high demand from farmers and they had to keep up with what the Britishers were asking for, cotton picking was even dangerous to health since this made farmers dealing with extreme heat at time. The machine of course still needed someone to work it but this way it became faster to pick it. 

kevin0001 | Student

Eli Whitney is the person who invented the Cotton Gin. It was used to harvest more quality cotton than when picked by hand. When picked by hand, people needed to take out the seeds, which can take up a lot of time. The Cotton Gin was to make more cotton faster. But, the machine still needed someone to work it. In the past, slaves were used to pick cotton, but when the Cotton Gin was invented, slaves had to operate the machine to pick cotton.

eli468 | Student

The cotton gin is a machine where harvested cotton is placed into it and it will separate the seeds out. This was extremely helpful when it was invented because it cut down a lot of time that was needed when people would have to pick through the cotton to get the seeds out by hand. This helped spur on the Industrial Revolution since it sped up cotton production.

The inventor of the cotton gin is said to be Eli Whitney because he patented it. However, it has been speculated that someone else either came up with the idea beforehand or someone helped him but they were not credited. So as time goes on, historians have questioned who really invented the cotton gin, but in school history textbook questions, Eli Whitney would be the answer. He was the first to PATENT it, but may not have been the sole inventor. 

maria-vivanco | Student

Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin and it would separate the cotton from the seed. 

Yojana_Thapa | Student

Eli Whitney invented the Cotton Gin. It was basically used to separate the cotton from the seed.

Jyotsana | Student

Eli Whitney was the one who invented cotton gin. His invention automated the seed separation process. His machine could generate up to fifty pounds of cleaned cotton daily, making cotton production profitable for the southern states.

cdov | Student

Eli Whitney invented the Cotton Gin. So people could make there cotton out of the Cotton Gin!

jrparks | Student

Eli Whitley is credited with the invention of the cotton gin.  Cotton was in high demand in the early 1700's. Farmers all over the British Colonies were having a hard time keeping up with supply for the demand.  Picking cotton was hard work because of the temperatures it is grown in and the labor involved in seperating the cotton from the seeds.  Many cotton gin inventions were made during this time.  These early cotton gins broke and maintenance on them was numerous.  Eli Whitney made the first cotton gin that was patented in the United States and could be mass produced easily.  For this reason, he has the credit for the first cotton gin.   

sutor | Student

The cotton gin is a machine that automated the separation of cottonseed from the short-staple cotton fiber and was invented by Eli Whiteny March 14, 1794.

geremy1 | Student