Joseph Eve, MD, Cotton Gin,

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Joseph Eve

Also Known As: "cotton gin"
Birthdate: (75)
Death: 1835 (75)
Place of Burial: The Cottage Cemetery, Augusta, Georgia
Immediate Family:

Son of Oswell Eve, Sr. and Ann Eve
Husband of Martha Eve and Hannah Eve
Father of Joseph Adams Eve; Edward Armstrong Eve; Francis Henry Eve and Mary Roma Eve
Brother of Oswell Eve, Jr.,; Sarah Eve; William Eve; John Eve; Martha Eve and 1 other

Occupation: engineer and architect who invented a wind powered cotton gin
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Joseph Eve, MD, Cotton Gin,

Another of his sons, Joseph Eve, fell under the influence and tutelage of his brother in law to be, Dr. Benjamin Rush, physician to Benjamin Franklin.

JOSEPH EVE: Born, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on 24 May 1760; Died, at his residence near The Cottage Cemetery, Augusta, Georgia on 14 November 1835.

Joseph Eve was one of the four sons of Captain Oswell Eve, Sr. of Philadelphia, and brother of Captain Oswell Eve of Charleston, South Carolina, and Augusta, Georgia. Joseph Eve was an intimate friend of Benjamin Franklin and Dr. Benjamin Rush, to whom Joseph's sister Sarah Eve was engaged to be married. Joseph was a teenager when his sister died suddenly a few weeks before her planned marriage to Benjamin Rush, when the family was forced into exile due to Revolutionary politics.

Although Dr. Benjamin Rush was a Signer of the Declaration of Independence, he was powerless to save either the Eves or members of his own family from the destructive vengeance of the day. Doctors Joseph Eve and Joseph Rush, along with Joseph Eve's father, Captain Oswell Eve, Sr., went into exile in the Bahamas where Joseph Eve purchased property between 1788 and 1796, primarily on Cat Island. Captain Oswell Eve, Sr. died at Joseph's plantation home on Cat Island, then known as San Salvador..

Joseph Eve was a scientist, architect, inventor, poet and newspaper editor. Having learned the secrets of gunpowder production from his father's gunpowder manufactory, the only one in the colonies at the beginning of the Revolution, he later produced gunpowder for the United States during the War of 1812; he became editor of the Bahamas Gazette in 1800; he designed St. Matthew's Church, a Nassau historic landmark; and, he invented the cotton gin (not Eli Whitney), which he produced, at first in the Bahamas in the 1780s, and then in a factory he constructed at Charleston, shortly after 1800. Some of the South's most prominent early planters imported the Eve cotton gin in the 1790s, including the legendary Pierce Butler; John Couper of Cannon's Point, St. Simon's Island; and apparently General Nathaniel Greene. It was at one of Greene's plantations where Eli Whitney reputedly saw an Eve gin in operation and shortly thereafter submitted such a machine to the Patent Office under his own name -- even as Eve's patent application and model, which had been submitted earlier, was "lost". Regardless, the Eve gins were much in demand and demand was increasing. Meeting the orders was essential; by 1804 Joseph Eve was desperately advertising for "six or eight" additional qualified cabinetmakers who were needed "immediately" in the Charleston factory.

In 1805, in the middle of the night, Joseph Eve's Charleston cotton gin factory was burned to the ground. This was but the latest blow in a series of incidents from the theft of materials and tools, to the disappearance of horses used in propelling mills for production of the gins.

While still in the Bahamas Joseph Eve married Hannah Singleterry of South Carolina. They and the Joseph Rushes moved from the Bahamas to Charleston, and then, after the disastrous 1805 burning of the Eve factory, the Joseph Eve's moved to Augusta to be near his brother Oswell Eve, and his factor, Charles Cunningham, Oswell's son-in-law. Dr. Joseph Eve's home was near The Cottage and Cottage Cemetery, where Joseph and Hannah are buried. Dr. Joseph Rush and his wife Catherine settled on John's Island at Charleston; their estate was left to friends including members of the Mathews, Roper, Holmes, Legare and Flud families -- Harriett Flud was Mrs. Wade Hampton I, mother of Wade II who married Ann FitzSimons, niece of Joseph Eve.

It is also maintained by some that Whitney was not the first to develop a cotton gin; gins of various designs had been in use in the British colonies from the seventeenth century, notably one designed by Joseph Eve (1760-1835) for use inthe West Indies.

Read more: Eli Whitney Biography (1765-1825)

When the Franklin Mint's research turned up information about ginning, they didn't research well enough. The coins they minted for a collectable coins are wrong. The coins shows a roller gin and states "Eli Whitney Invents the Cotton Gin". Eli had a patent on a spike gin not a roller gin as shown.

The illustration below on the left is a Whitney type gin. The illustration in the middle, from Harpers, is a roller gin. The caption states "The First Cotton Gin". The roller gin was the first cotton gin. The roller gin shown was a modification of the early "Churka" or Indian roller gin. The improved roller gin facilitated the ginning of Sea Island or Long Staple cotton. The coins should have stated Eli Whitney the first to Patent a Spiked Cotton Gin, because the roller gin as been around for many years.

Dr. Joseph Eve residing around Augusta, Georgia, introduced the first powered roller gin, in 1790. The Daily output of five Eve Type Roller Gins was 135 pounds per day, but one Whitney Type gin produced 600 to 900 pounds per day. English Textile mills wanted the slower roller ginned sea island cotton (Long Fiber Length) because of quality, but production won over the plantations. When the plantations planted short staple cotton the roller gin was not used.

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Joseph Eve, MD, Cotton Gin,'s Timeline

Age 45
Age 47
Age 49
Age 75
The Cottage Cemetery, Augusta, Georgia