Science: Cotton-Picker

Eli Whitney constructed a violin before he was 12, was an expert nail-maker at 16. In 1793 he invented a machine in which a toothed cylinder forced raw cotton through a mesh screen, thus separating the lint from the seeds. Eli Whitney's cotton gin patent was signed by President George Washington and two members of his Cabinet on March 14, 1794, and U. S. cotton, then no more than the material for a piddling domestic industry, began its history as a world commodity.

Two years before the cotton gin was invented the annual...

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