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Whitney, Eli (1765–1825)

Eli Whitney
US inventor of the cotton gin (1793), from which he earned little because of patent infringements, and pioneer of mass production. In 1798 he contracted with the US Government to make 10,000 muskets: he took 8-years to fulfil the 2-year contract, but showed that with unskilled labor muskets could be put together using parts that were precision-made and thus interchangeable, a benefit not only during production but in later maintenance.

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