Reproduction of Eli Whitney's Cotton Gin Model

In 1794, Eli Whitney patented a new kind of cotton gin. His invention, using rotating brushes and teeth to remove the seeds from cotton, was quickly pirated by others.
Southern plantation owners depended on slaves for labor-intensive crops such as rice, sugar, tobacco, and especially cotton. As the market demand for cotton increased in the early 1800s, the Southern cotton industry expanded dramatically, as did the system of slave labor it relied on.
Object Name
gin, cotton, Whitney's
gin, reproduction cotton
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Industry & Manufacturing
National Treasures exhibit
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Textiles
National Treasures exhibit
American Stories
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Related Publication
Kendrick, Kathleen M. and Peter C. Liebhold. Smithsonian Treasures of American History
Publication title
Treasures of American History online exhibition
Publication author
National Museum of American History
Publication URL

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