Out of the long days spent in the gin plant, a rich oral tradition developed, which included a broad sense of general history and an understanding of worldwide markets, an appreciation for the music of the machine (especially the steam engine), legendary individuals, and a folklore based on practical jokes. But the language, traditions, and cultural practices that developed around the cotton gin are now rapidly becoming extinct as modern technology eliminates the risks, inventiveness, and close working relationships between ginners and machines.
To document and preserve the memory of this way of life, Karen Gerhardt Britton has collected material from numerous interviews with ginners, inventors, laborers, and historians. The abundance of illustrations and the availability of never-before-published archival material, thanks to the generous cooperation of the ginning industry, make this a valuable and fascinating resource for historians and lay readers alike.
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Published by Texas A&M University Press