Lot 81: Authentic Antique Original ELI WHITNEY Autograph Signature In An 1803 Book
Historic Autographs, Civil War Encased Postage Stamps, Colonial, Revolutionary War, Federal Era, Coins, Currency, Medals
December 10, 2016
Rancho Santa Fe, CA, USALive Auction
1803 ELI WHITNEY Signature
ELI WHITNEY (1765-1825). American Inventor best known for inventing the Cotton Gin, one of the key inventions of the Industrial Revolution and shaped the economy of the Antebellum South.
Rare, original ELI WHITNEY Autograph Signature in an 1803 Book, part of Three Books from the library of Eli Whitney and only the first and earliest book is signed. The largest of the three books is titled, "The Poetical Works of Dr. Goldsmith, 1803." At the top of the title page is Eli Whitney's rich clear sharp brown signature. These books are complete, tightly bound, all with loose separated hardcovers, the later two added in 1826 after his death. Wonderful set of books from the library of one of America's most notable inventors.
As the inventor of the cotton gin (1793) as well as his concept of mass production of interchangeable parts, Eli Whitney changed the American System of Manufacturing. Whitney's invention made upland short cotton into a profitable crop, which strengthened the economic foundation of slavery in the United States.
Despite the social and economic impact of his invention, Whitney lost many profits in legal battles over patent infringement for the cotton gin. Thereafter, he turned his attention into securing contracts with the government in the manufacture of muskets for the newly formed United States Army. He continued making arms and inventing until his death in 1825.