Eli Whitney was born in Westborough in 1765. It is indicated that he spent most of his childhood time playing with tools belonging to his father. Eli’s creativity in life dates back to his childhood years when he was able to dismantle and mend watches belonging to his father. At the age of thirteen he made a violin thus proving his abilities, which were beyond any doubt. Eli was perceived to be an extraordinary human being. His father was farmer and when Eli’s mother died, he remarried thus denying Eli of good education. However, Eli was not discouraged, and at the age of twenty three he enrolled for college and graduated in1792 from Yale University. In his college years he was portrayed as a mere boy possessing strong mechanical skills. This assignment will, therefore, involve itself in portraying these unique abilities and in turn evaluate how the aforementioned abilities contributed to the history of the machinery (Keller 1).
In 1798, Whitney was awarded a contract to manufacture firearms for the federal government. He, therefore, embarked on this task with the purpose of helping the government out in terms of protection. However, he was also concerned with getting the help he could need in order to keep his cotton gin rights altogether.
Despite the much amount of criticism from some of the government officials, Whitney went ahead and persuaded the federal government to award him the tender altogether. It is said that he was the first American citizen to write a handwritten contract, which stipulated upfront demands beforehand; he needed the money to save his bankruptcy situation. It should be noted that all this time it was not known how Whitney was going to manufacture these arms all at the same time as there were no trained laborers to undertake the manufacturing process. Moreover, there was never an indication of any manufacturing company, which he could use in making this firearms, but all in all the legend is said to have maneuvered his way and later his principles of manufacturing were considered to be the fundamentals upon which industries in the United States operate nowadays (Keller 2).
Faced with the bigger dilemma of how he could deliver the arms as he had promised in signing the contract, Whitney was able to come up with a well-known principle amongst industry players, “the manufacture by the uniformity principle”. It should be known that this axiomatic phrase was brought about as a result of the shortage in the amount of skilled workers thus leading Whitney to apply the manufacture by interchangeable parts phenomenon. This unique phenomenon was first practiced in Whitney’s establishment in New Haven. Although there were claims, that in1720, Polhem, a manufacturer in Sweden, manufactured gears for watch clocks using the specific types of machines, which aided him in reaching the precision he so much needed by ensuring interchangeability of parts. This is, however, refuted as baseless altogether and Whitney thereby is accredited with this principle at large. In this principle, he introduced the concept of using the unskilled laborers to increase the production output while at the same time reducing the resultant costs.
He was further determined to replicate the idea to other countries as is evident by the letter he wrote to Wolcott: “my plan and manner of executing the different branches of the work is for the purpose of comparing them with the modes practiced in this and other countries”.
He was completely determined to replicate his works so that it could define the need for deploying labor-saving individuals, who were developed to operate at a very high level of improvement of the manufactures. He considered the phenomenon to be a tremendous improvement in the machinery industry as it recognized the labor-form of systems used in the manufacturing processes.
History also indicates that the phenomenon was actually unique and special in the sense that by relying on the principle, the machinery involved was to be used for the production of different types of arms species at ago. Whitney’s machinery is believed to have gained widespread recognition in America, especially at Harper’s Ferry, where the machine was used exclusively for the purpose of producing arms at high, but a cheaper production rate. The phenomenon is believed to have been the most creative facet held by Whitney during those times. It is further believed as the fact that he was financially broke and was in dire need of reviving his cotton gin rights made him to accept to deliver the arms but at an exorbitant up-front fee.
Whitney’s inquisitive nature is believed to be the reason behind his success. He used to travel form Springfield to Harper’s Ferry in search of both knowledge and the know-how, which he could implement in order to make his dream come true and as a result break the ties he had faced with the financial instabilities. It is a known fact that his principle acted towards the development of other ways of producing items at cheaper costs. For instance, it is believed that Captain Hall adopted this phenomenal model to come up with machines, using the same idea, in the cutting of iron and executing of woodwork tasks (Jung 1-7).
This development leads us to other principles, which were affected by Whitney and he continues to receive praise and recognition throughout history. It is believed that he formulated and popularized the “manufacture by machinery philosophy”. In this philosophy, Whitney tried to conceptualize the characteristics of the invention produced by the very cheap labor. This concept was meant to expound on the relations, which existed between the products and the interchangeability aspect. In expounding this relationship, the phenomenon embarked on emphasizing the need for expanding tolerances since closer tolerances were believed to possess the capability of increasing costs of production altogether.
Whitney’s phenomenon also introduced three elements, which were required in the process of materializing the interchangeability concept. These three elements include the precision of the machine as a tool, the provisioned gauges or other instruments, which were able to perform the measurement functionality as well as the provisions for the unanimously accepted measurement standards. It clearly indicated that Whitney introduced and popularized these elements, which formed the fundamental requirements of machinery even today for industries, which are focused on the production of quality yet cheaper armories. Whitney’s creativity and the need for devising ways upon which these elements could be followed is stipulated by the fact that gauges were used extensively in the production of armory in Springfield, the town, which Whitney frequently visited with the intention of popularizing his findings altogether. There is the record put by visitors, who managed to visit the Whitneyville Plant and were completely amazed by the outstanding works he established in the bid to promote these scientific methodologies of manufacturing armory. Despite the fact that Whitney deployed simple machines, he was somehow successful in executing his duties well. It is believed that his machines used a consistence of drilling and boring machines as well as a trip hammer (Lambert& Oscart 345-356).
A visitor, who happened to visit the Plant at New Haven, managed to account of a type of machinery, which moved by water, but accrued several benefits including its ability to hammer, cut, turn, perforate, grind and polish the firearms at the same time. Whitney frequently deployed the human labor to operate the terminal process of the manufacturing process so that it operated within the principles he had earlier introduced. He used the simple machines and the simple human abilities to manufacture uniform parts for the distinctive locks of his muskets.
In 1912, Professor Joseph Roe discovered a milling machine which is believed to have been developed by Whitney; in fact his grandson remembered with ease the machine, when he was asked of it. It is clear to indicate that although Whitney commenced his establishments with mere machinery, history indicates that he was a persistent man, who made sure that he could develop machinery, which he knew could lessen the burden of using human hands. He was very much into machines and it is extensively believed that most machines of today have been developed through the fundamentals which were initially formulated by Whitney (Miller 123-142).
Concerning this discovery, it will be fair to stipulate that Whitney persisted in finding reliable modes of machines at his manufactory situated at Mill Rock. He was far much the largest contributor of modern machinery specifically in the production of national armories. It is completely justifiable to indicate that he played a bigger role in the originality of armories and it is therefore wise to implicate that Whitneyville will always remain the “the birth location for the modern machine tool industry”, which relied on the concept of interchangeable parts.
It is also justifiably fair to implicate that the American system of manufacturing items rested upon the humble yet crucial principle facets, which were established and nurtured in the northeastern section of the country. These features were developed in the nineteenth century whereby the larger American system took to developing items through the application of intense manufacturing by the power driven forms of machinery, which were initially developed to serve specific forms of purposes. These intense manufacturing processes also took into account the application of the interchangeable parts. History holds that the American system mode of manufacturing the watches, Yale’s locks and sewing machines originated from the earlier works of Eli Whitney, who is accredited with the birth of the American technological advances altogether (Werner 35-77). All in all, it is fair to conclude this research by stating that Eli Whitney was indeed a true legend and is the father of machines in the American history. His works formed basics for which industries operate not only in America, but also across the globe.