Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Thank You Eli Whitney!

Why am I thanking Eli Whitney? Because if it wasn't for him, we'd still be picking seeds out of our cotton like this!

Thanks to Eli, we now have the cotton gin which seperates the cotton lint from the seeds for us!
This is the gin we use, which Lance's Uncle Jim, is part owner of.

If you don't know what happens to the cotton up to this point...check out this post!
The module truck unloads the module at the gin onto the walking floor.
This is a video of the walking floor. If you look closely you can see the slats moving. 
The walking floor moves the module toward the module feeder.

The module feeder uses beater bars that chew the cotton off of the module. The cotton is then sucked into the gin.

If the cotton is loaded onto a wagon instead of in a module, the wagon is parked at the gin, and the cotton is sucked out of it using a suck pipe. The suck pipe also sends the cotton into the gin just like the module feeder.

Cotton flows into the gin and goes through the tower dryer, which dries the cotton with gas heat. Next, it goes through the vertical stick machine, which is the first stage of cleaning the cotton. Then, it flows through the jet dryer, which blows the cotton like a jet engine to dry it some more. The cotton continues overhead to the horizontal stick machine, which is the main cleaning process (takes out sticks and burrs, etc.)

From there it flows into the gin stands. The gin stands seperate the seeds from the cotton lint. The lint continues out the back of the stands to the lint cleaners.

The seeds fall to the bottom of the gin stands into a trough that augers/blows them into the seed house.

The cotton comes from the lint machines and falls down the lint slide into the press. The press makes a bale of cotton.  One side of the press holds the cotton, then when full, rotates and puts the cotton under the press, which packs the cotton into a bale. Meanwhile, the empty bay is being loaded. When the door opens, employees push tie wires around the bale, which hold the bale together.

The bale is rolled over to where a sample is taken (the sample is sent to USDA and available for the buyer), it is bagged, barcoded, and weighed.

It is then loaded to the truck and taken to a warehouse.

Here's the difference between unginned (left) and ginned (right) cotton. It's a complicated process, but hope y'all learned something anyways!


  1. Hey! Just found your blog tonight...We have lots in common. We are a pnut/cotton/soybean/milo/corn...I think that's! Check out my blog! Love all your photos/video. I would love to post more, but the 3 youngens keep me pretty busy. That is my new years resolution, to be better at the blog! Loved your site. ~Tracie

  2. seriously girl...I love your videos!!! they are great....they are the next best thing to being there in person!

  3. Thanks so much for posting this. We stopped a few years ago to watch cotton picking and the farmer even let me run the levers on the modulator. But I so wanted to see a gin and we didn't know where to go to find one after we left there and didn't have presence of mind enough to ask the farmer while we were there so this was great to see.

  4. I enjoyed your post. We live in Morgan County and we used to see so many cotton fields and now not so much. I love to see the cotton in the fact the smell of defoliant makes me think fall!lol! My parents both picked cotton when they were kids and even they miss seeing the pretty fields. Thanks for a good lesson on cotton ginning!