Eli Whitney: the Interchangeable Man

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Submitted By thestephenside
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The Interchangeable Man: Eli Whitney One major goal in life is to have a purpose, to achieve a sense of accomplishment. Many people fulfill this by striving to be an inventor, someone who creates. An inventor must have a brilliant mind, a passion to create, and must be in the right place at the right time in order to be successful. Eli Whitney’s youth, education, early inventions, and mass production achievements contributed to his place as a great inventor. The early life of a person can of predict their future, and Eli Whitney’s youth certainly does. He grew up on his family’s farm in Massachusetts, where inspiration for innovation surrounded him. Whitney spent time working for a blacksmith. During this time he designed and developed a nail forge based on the demand caused by British Embargoes. “Young Eli quickly learned how the marketplace worked, and diversified into hatpins and canes. It was his genius to observe what people needed, and to provide it” (PBS), even from an early age Whitney was able to innovate to make peoples lives easier. As a young man he found himself intertwined with a small niche such as ladies hatpins. This learned ability to create and innovate would prove to help Eli Whitney become a successful inventor. Despite being a blacksmith in his early years, Whitney sought out education at Yale College. His parents objected to his decision since he was not interested in studying law and theology. Whitney left home at the age of twenty-three and graduated from Yale four years later.
Despite having obtained a college education there was still no suitable profession available that suited his unique skills. “Whitney settled for teaching (he had taught while attending Yale), and accepted a position as a tutor in South Carolina” (“Eli Whitney.”), teaching was not the job that he wanted, but it was enough to pay the bills. He set sail for South…...

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