During the majority of the time throughout the 1700s and even into the early 1800s, the two main crops that were grown in the South that brought in cash were indigo, which was used to dye fabrics, and tobacco. There were fields of cotton that grew naturally throughout that area, but most farmers chose not to harvest the cotton since it could be very costly as well as time-consuming to remove all the seeds, which had to be done before the cotton could be sold. Due to all of the work that was required to grow then harvest and clean the cotton, it made it a crop that was not very profitable for farmers.
The people of the South looked on in envy as the economy of the north was much stronger than their own. Most southern people did not make a large income from the agricultural industry unless they were owners of large plantations that grew the crops that brought in cash, since those people tended to be much wealthier. Northern farmers made more money from the same crops that were grown in the South. To add salt to injury, during the late 1700s, the price of tobacco decreased quite a bit. This hit the southern area of the United States hard when it came to their economy. It was very devastating to their overall financial outlook.
That all changed when, in 1793, Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin along with encouragement and input from others. He named the cotton gin the way he did because the word gin was slang for the engine. The machine was designed to remove the cotton seeds from the fiber of the cotton without a human being having to do it by hand.
When this invention was combined with the steam engine that was invented by James Watt, it made the process of cleaning cotton so much easier, since the steam engine was used to power the cotton gin. This made it much easier to remove the seeds from the cotton without the use of about 50 people having to do the work. This saved farmers a boatload of money while making them a large profit from the cotton they sold as well as the seeds for cotton oil and the seeds could be used to grow more cotton plants. The southern economy was then boosted by the cotton industry.
Although the cotton gin had many pluses to it, there were also some disadvantages. Read on for a detailed list of some of the disadvantages of the cotton gin, or contact us for more information!
Many southerners became very dependent on the cotton industry and the cotton gin. Cotton producers also depended more on slaves, and so slavery was more deeply entrenched for another 70 years as more people were needed to care for and pick the cotton to fill a growing demand for the crop.
The more cotton plants that were grown, the more the soil began to lose its fertility and nutrients. This non-fertile soil led to numerous disadvantages for continuously growing cotton and the ability to grow other crops before crop rotation was effectively utilized.
Other inventors copied the work of Eli Whitney which then caused him to lose money. He also had to spend money to fight legal battles in an effort to protect the patent he had on the cotton gin. Basically, his invention made others much richer than it ever did him.
The government also began to levy expensive taxes on the farmers for the cotton they produced.
All-in-all, even though the cotton gin had many advantages to it, it came with some disadvantages as well.
In today’s world of farming, including the harvesting of cotton, more modern equipment is used. The cotton pickers of today are made with the latest technology but still need to be maintained with new or replacement parts to keep them in optimum working order. Certi-Pik has been producing those parts for cotton pickers all over the world since 1988 and is a trusted name in the cotton picker industry for new replacement parts largely fabricated and inspected in house in the USA. To help the industry further we’ve partnered with our customers in enhancing OEM parts and designing new specialty parts to use when rebuilding a machine from the ground up.
Contact the trusted cotton picker parts specialists at Certi-Pik today for all of your cotton picker new and replacement parts and services.