There were many men who contributed to the development of the United States of America. Their contributions to this country helped to shape and mold it and to help make it into the greatest industrial nation of the world. Among them were men such as Eli Whitney, Robert Fulton, and Samuel Slater. .
Eli Whitney was born on December 8, 1765, in Westborough, Massachusetts.
He was the son of a farmer. Whitney was a very intelligent boy who at the age of twelve constructed his own violin. During the years of the Revolutionary War, Whitney was still in his teens. He began his own business making nails. After the War, Whitney decided he wanted to go to college, but realized he had no money to attend, so he took up the job as a teacher. As a teacher, Whitney was only earning seven dollars a month. When Whitney turned twenty-three years of age he earned enough money to go to college and decided to attend Yale. Whitney graduated Yale in 1792. After college he decided to study law; so he went to Georgia. When he arrived there he met Catherine Littlefield Greene. She invited him to her house. Whitney wanted to be of help so he began to fix things that he saw were broken around the house. Mrs. Greene thought Whitney was very handy. One day Mrs. Greene had some of her friends come over her house to talk. .
They were all talking about cotton, and most of them did not like to grow it because it was too hard to clean and took up much of their day. Mrs. Greene said, "Mr. Whitney can make a machine to clean it." .
In April, 1793, Eli Whitney invented and built the first cotton gin, which could clean cotton as fast as fifty people working together by hand (Whitney 254). When Whitney tried to apply for a patent for his cotton gin people had already started to make imitations of his machine. Whitney became angry and sued them.