Early Cotton Gin Production
|Early cotton gins were very labor intensive ;
requiring up to 20 men to do the work that 6 - 8 do now. Some pulled
the waiting wagons to the unloading area,
others were unloaders, either by hand or through earlier suction systems. Still others worked at the gin stands where the seed is removed. At no other point in the ginning process is the danger of "cotton stoppage" more likely to occur. If a gin plant operated with five stands then five men were needed to assure a steady flow through these machines. Modern machinery design has solved this problem, with one or two men monitoring the operation of up to five
stands at tremendous volume. One or two men usually handled the overflow bin, where excess volume of raw seed cotton spilled on the floor and had to be thrown or sucked back into the system. At the press, five or six people were sometimes needed to compress and strap the ginned cotton lint.
Very early gins had holes in the floor of lofts
where lint was hand stomped into sacks hanging through the holes.
This formed a sack or bale of cotton. This
Baled cotton was weighed and hand loaded onto wagons
for shipment to mills for spinning into yarn. When the cotton seed
went to oil mills it still had usable fibers attached. Oil
mills have traditionally reginned, with fast saws, the seed to make a low
quality cotton known as "linters". Sometimes they employ a second step
called flame delinting where
* If the intended use of the cotton seed is for
planting seed the acid delinting is often used.
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Cotton Gin production
The Cotton Plant
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february 16, 2000
Updated August 2,2000
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