MARRIAGE Jan 6, 1817 Henrietta Edwards .
Eli Whitney was one of the most influential industrialists and one of the greatest pioneers of the Industrial Revolution in early American history. He lived in the south for only a few years, yet, during this time, he created an invention that would revolutionize the agricultural industry. The creation of the cotton gin, an machine that could pick the seeds out of cotton, breathed new life into the dying southern economy. Whitney was driven to bankruptcy after his invention"s patent was stolen. This did not deter him though. He moved back to the north where, under the patronage of the United States government, he altered the very face of manufacturing with his factory that mass-produced guns. This new manufacturing methodology introduced the revolutionary concept of interchangeable parts. .
Whitney's was born in Westborough, Massachusetts on December 8, 1765. He was brought up by his parents, Eli, Sr. and Elizabeth. Disaster struck when his mother became terribly ill after the birth of her fourth child. She died in 1777. Whitney, Jr., only twelve years old at the time, was the eldest of the children and felt bound to care for his younger siblings. Even after his father remarried a woman named Judith Hazledon, Whitney still carried his burden for his sister and two brothers. .
The economy in the colonies was in poor shape when the Revolutionary War broke out. During these troubled times, young Eli started his first successful business. He made nails in his father"s workshop. Nails were a rare commodity in the states. Using his tools, he also became one of the only hatpin makers in the colonies. Whitney began to learn the finer points of mechanics during the time he spent in his father"s workshop. As he grew older, he set his sights on going to college, where an education would allow him to further develop his skills. Due to lack of money, his father was unable to support his dream.