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Patents and the Cotton Gin

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Look carefully at the patent drawing of the cotton gin at the bottom of the page. ... Eli Whitney's Patent for the Cotton Gin ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Patents and the Cotton Gin


1
Patents and the Cotton Gin
  • Prepared by Jenifer Willis using materials from
    National Archives Digital Classroom

2
Eli Whitneys Patent for the Cotton Gin
  • Click on the link above. Read the article to
    learn more about Eli Whitney, the impact of the
    cotton gin, and early patents.
  • Look carefully at the patent drawing of the
    cotton gin at the bottom of the page. Read the
    description on the following slide and identify
    the parts of the cotton gin mentioned in the
    quote.

3
  • "The cotton gin cranked cotton through rollers
    with teeth made of wire. The wire teeth tore the
    green seeds from the cotton. Iron slits let the
    cotton pass through, but not the seeds. A second
    rotating cylinder of bristles removed the
    seedless cotton from the wires. Through a simple
    arrangement of belts, the same crank turned both
    the cylinder with wires and another smaller one
    with bristles." http//www.archives.gov/digital_c
    lassroom/lessons/cotton_gin_patent/teaching_activi
    ties.html

4
Eli Whitneys Patent for the Cotton Gin
  • Look now at Eli Whitneys petition for a patent
    on his cotton gin. Notice that it is
    handwritten. Typewriters werent invented until
    the 1880s.
  • Complete the Document Analysis Worksheet as you
    examine Whitneys petition.

5
Preparing for Discussion
  • To prepare for tomorrows discussion, consider
    the following questions Why was the petition
    addressed to the Senate and the House? What is a
    memorialist? What promise does he think was made
    to him by the government in the patent acts it
    passed under Article I, Section 8, Clause 8? Why
    does he feel the government has not fulfilled its
    promise to him? Are you moved by his plight? Why
    or why not? Why did Whitney leave out all
    reference to the growth of slavery in his
    petition?

6
  • Because Whitney wrote the argument on his own
    behalf, the claims he made must be evaluated with
    caution. Whitney argued that the cotton gin
    proved to be of major importance to America. What
    statements did Whitney make to support this
    claim? Compare his claims to the facts presented
    in the Historical Background section. Do you
    think he exaggerated the cotton gin's importance?
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