Saturday, September 29, 2012


This picture was taken between Orangeville and Aiken SC on Hwy 78.
Cotton was grown in the New World and in Asia for centuries before Europeans settled in America. English colonists first cultivated cotton to make homespun clothing. Production significantly increased when the American Revolution cut off supplies of European cloth, but the real expansion of production came with the rising demand for raw cotton from the British textile industry. This led to the development of an efficient cotton gin as a tool for removing seeds from cotton fibers in 1793. The breeding of superior strains from Mexican cotton and the opening of western lands further expanded production. (During the early 1800s, the center of production moved south and west, from cotton's early national cradle in South Carolina and Georgia to the black belt of Alabama and Mississippi.) Production rose from 2 million pounds in 1791 to a billion pounds in 1860; by 1840, the United States was producing over 60 percent of the world's cotton. The economic boom in the cotton South attracted migrants, built up wealth among the free inhabitants, encouraged capitalization of investments like railroads, and facilitated territorial expansion.

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