Thursday, December 2

The Story of Eli Whitney

Eli Whitney is most often noted for his invention of the cotton gin, but it was his idea for creating interchangeable parts that really sparked the Industrial Revolution and changed the world...

Eli Whitney was born on December 8, 1765, in Westborough, Massachusetts. His mother died when he was only eleven years old. At age 14, Eli had started his own business making and selling nails in his father's workshop during the Revolutionary War.

While working as a school teacher and farmer, Whitney was able to save enough money to attend college at Yale University. After graduating with honors from Yale, he studied law, but failed to finish his studies because he couldn't pay tuition. Consequently, Eli decided to make his fortune by moving to the South. During his travels southward, he met the Revolutionary War hero Nathanael Greene’s widow. Taking a liking to Whitney, Mrs. Greene invited him to visit her family's Georgia plantation. Mrs. Greene and her soon to be husband, Phineas Miller, welcomed Eli and the two men later became partners in business.

After visiting cotton plantations in the south, Eli saw a need for an invention that would allow cotton farmers to harvest their cotton more efficiently for market. In 1793, Whitney was able to create such an invention that would change the harvesting of cotton forever. The invention of the "Cotton Gin" (short for Cotton Engine) helped to revolutionize the processing of cotton crops throughout the southern United States. The cotton gin is a device that mechanically removes the sharp seeds from cotton plants, thereby enabling plantation owners to produce 55 pounds of cotton per day. 

Whitney’s cotton gin was said to be one of the most important contributions to America’s Industrial Revolution. It was also said to have reinvigorated the practice of slavery, a practice that may have been in decline in the south before the invention. Cotton soon became America's most important export and represented over 50% of the value of all goods shipped abroad from its shores between 1820 and 1860.  While Eli Whitney is best known for inventing the cotton gin, he is also credited with the invention of the cotton milling machine.     ~source Mr. Nussbaum

Our spine novel for this unit is:

  • The Story of Eli Whitney (Jean Lee Latham)
    • Eli Whitney is famous for having invented the cotton gin, but little is known about the trials he endured as he developed it, the never-ending legal battles he was forced to fight, and his remarkable character and determination throughout the process. The Story of Eli Whitney is an inspiring look at the life of a determined young boy who overcame many obstacles and ultimately helped his country grow and prosper.

Get the ENTIRE UNIT in Beautiful Book Studies!

Each unit addresses a new topic, including science, history, and geography.  Each unit has introductory text, which will give the student basic background information about the topic at hand.

  • You will also find a short list of reading books, including a featured novel that the unit builds upon.
  • There are vocabulary words, places, and people to identify.
  • Reading comprehension, critical thinking questions, and writing assignments are included.
  • We add fun with hands-on activities and extra videos to watch that will bring the topic to life.

Table of Contents

  • The King’s Fifth
  • Red Falcons of Tremoine
  • Golden Hawks of Genghis Khan
  • Red Hugh of Ireland
  • Calico Captive
  • The Story of Eli Whitney
  • Island of the Blue Dolphins
  • The Lost Kingdom
  • The Secret Garden
  • Heidi
  • Girl of the Limberlost
  • The Winged Watchman
  • When the Dikes Broke
  • Using the Good & the Beautiful in High School

The books selected for these unit studies can be found in the upper grades areas of The Good and the Beautiful Book List.  However, Homeschool On the Range and Sparks Academy are not employed by or affiliated with, nor do they receive any compensation from, The Good and the Beautiful.  It has simply been their curriculum of choice for many years.  These unit studies are not endorsed by The Good and the Beautiful or Jenny Phillips.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.