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The Post-Crescent from Appleton, Wisconsin • 4

Publication:
The Post-Crescenti
Location:
Appleton, Wisconsin
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Page:
4
Extracted Article Text (OCR)

I The Best of AMERICAN HERITAGE Appleton Post -Crescent Saturday, April 18, 1959 Eli Whitney Savior-and Nemesis-of the South '1 I i i i sha school The over-all plan included perhaps the construction of a boys school somewhere else later on and the building at the reformatory then could be used for the expansion of that facility. However, the people of Allouez were up in arms when they heard of the plan and they succeeded in defeating it in the legislature. It finally was agreed that the state would spend for the construction of a new school for boys on lands owned by the state in the Kettle Moraine forest. There are some things of interest to be noticed here. First, the boys school at Waukesha had received some extensive repairs and new facilities shortly before the decision to abandon was made.

Obviously there will be some loss there to the state. Worth noting, also, is the fact that the decision to build the school was made in 1955 so that nearly five years have gone by and the new school is not ready. Thus if the regents have no better means of speeding up construction than has the board of public welfare, anything they plan either in expansion of the present facilities or by way of starting a new school on an entirely different site, is something far in the future even if it should win legislative approval immediately. The state reformatory offers another example of the great difficulty of planning far into the future. Although the state has 'practically agreed that it will never expand the reformatory outside of its present walls it continually and of necessity pours money into added facilities there.

The latest plan calls for the expenditure of about a million dollars for an infirmary and other facilities. The state has known from the people in this vicinity for more than 30 years that the reformatory would some day have to be moved from its present site. Each year since, the problem has become more difficult as the investment in the site has become greater. Some day a decision will have to be made but that time will come only when the present facilities are impossible to maintain further. That also will be the probable outcome of the present quarrel at the University of tury, America was shipping to Liverpool more than three-quarters of all the cotton consumed in the United Kingdom.

The existence of this market and the possibility of supplying it with ease and profit made cotton planting the one absorbing industry of the south. The Louisiana Purchase had opened to slave-holding settlement and culture a vast domain of the richest soil on earth in a region peculiarly adapted to the expanding production of cotton. As the production grew, so did the value of the Negro. By 1825, when cotton was selling at 15 cents a pound, a good Negro field hand who had been worth only $500 twenty years earlier would often bring $1,500 on a New Orleans auction block. The phenomenal success of the cotton industry, for which Eli Whitney was directly respon i 1 gave birth in the south to an entirely new conception of slavery.

In the early days of the republic the most thoughtful southerners, including Washington and Jefferson, had deprecated slavery as an evil which must eventually be swept away. No one denied that slavery was a moral evil and a menace to the country. Coffon King Such ideas gradually came to be regarded as old-fashioned. Daniel Webster, in 1850, asserted "it was the cotton interest that gave a new desire to promote slavery, to spread it, and to use its labor." The doctrine that cotton was king, and that all other interests in the nation would bow before it, had permeated the whole south by the middle of the century. It was hard to protest against a system upon which the whole prosperity of one section of the country seemed to hinge.

Unwittingly, Eli Whitney had set in motion an undercurrent against the notions of equality and freedom. He himself made nothing out of his cotton gin. Trie Revolution Unable to make a living out of the cotton gin, Whitney turned his back on the south. He settled in New Haven and determined to devote himself to the production of something which could not easily be copied and appropriated by others. In 1798, disturbed by the danger of war with France, he wrote to Oliver Wolcott, the secretary of the treasury, offering to manufacture "ten or fifteen thousand stand of arms." By "stand of arms" was meant the complete arms necessary to equip a soldier the mus- BY ARNOLD WHITRIDGE Any American who ruminates about the origins of the Civil war will find himself confronted sooner or later by an ingenious contraption for removing seeds from the cotton boll, known as the cotton gin.

This device, invented by Eli Whitney, a totally un-known young man, changed the whole pattern of cotton production. No inven i ever answered a more pressing need. Immediately after graduating from Yale, in 1792, Whitney had been engaged as a private tutor for a fam- If any one man can be held responsible both for the development of the old time cotton empire of the South, and then for its destruction, he might very well be Eli Whitney. The story of this remarkable Yankee, and his two world-shaking inventions is told here by a Yale professor and biographer. ily in Georgia.

On his way to take up his post he made the acquaintance of Mrs. Nathanael Greene, widow of the Revolutionary war general, who was returning to Savannah after spending the summer in the north. An invitation to stay at Mrs. Greene's plantation, all the more welcome when he discovered that his prospective A Model of the original cotton gin. employer had hired another man in his place, brought him into contact with the cotton aristocracy of the neighborhood.

A Handy Whitney soon endeared himself to his hostess by his extraordinary "handiness." There was nothing that this big, rambling man with the extraordinarily deft fingers could not make or mend. One day a party of her friends were bemoaning the fact that there was no quick, practical way of separating short staple cotton from its seed. It took a slave ten hours to separate one pound of lint from three pounds of the small tough seeds. Under those conditions no one in the south could afford to grow cottpn, and yet in other parts of the world cotton was long Time Planning The University of Wisconsin Board of Regents is divided over what to do about the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. There are 5,100 students enrolled at the institution and that apparently is more than can be accommodated comfortably.

The board of visitors has reported crowded classrooms and offices are hampering teaching and learning processes. The business of trying to find space to study, eat lunch, to hold meetings, to check belongings and enjoy some recreation has caused some of the students to become discouraged and to lose their enthusiasm for education there, the report said. Expansion is urgently required and the regents have hopes of getting from the state building commission to purchase an adjoining 8-acre tract from Milwaukee Downer Seminary for expansion. However, there are those on the board and elsewhere who think it is folly to pour more money into the campus. They point out that the school is growing rapidly and within a comparatively short time may reach the total enrollment figure of 10, 12 or even 20 thousand students.

In that case they say the present campus will be too small and the money spent on it will be lost for it will be necessary to go out some distance to purchase a large tract and build anew. This is the same problem 'that beseti state institutions in most urban areas. Cities or suburbs grow up around the institutions and crowd them until expansion becomes impossible because of the tremendous expense, Obviously the state pours millions of dollars into such temporary developments as is proposed at the Milwaukee university but it is not easy to see what else could be done about it. A good example of what might be expected is provided by the history of the boys school at Waukesha. In 1954 the State Department of Public Welfare announced plans to expand the school by building a fenced, medium security institution near the reformatory at Green Bay.

The addition was intended for temporary use to house some of the boys committed to the Wauke- Confusion in Japan The matter of attempting to defend much of the free world from the talons of the communists while maintaining the independence and sovereignty of each country is not an easy accomplishment. Right now the United States government is embarrassed by the naivete with which it pushed Japan into its constitution adopted after World war II. It was based upon the apparent belief that war and evil and nasty people had been erased from the face of the earth for all time. The Japanese constitution states that Japan "never again shall be visited with the horrors of war through the action of government We have determined to rely for our security and survival upon the justice and good faith of the peace-loving peoples of the world." Article Nine then elaborates: "Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people, forever renounce war as sovereign right of the nation, or the threat or use of force, as a means of settling disputes with other nations. For the above purpose, land, sea and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained.

The right j)f the belligerency of the state will not' be recognized." A district judge in Tokyo last week interpreted this amazing document as including foreign war potential and held that Vale Lnlytritr Art Gallery Eli Whitney, who paved the way for the mass production system. From a painting by Samuel F. B. Morse, in 1822. becoming a semipre clous commodity.

"Gentlemen," said Mrs. Greene, "tell your troubles to Mr. Whitney, he can make anything." Within two weeks Whitney had produced a model of the cotton gin, an ingenious device which was destined to have an ultimately disastrous effect upon the people it enriched. In it, the cotton was dragged through a wire screen by means of toothed cylinders revolving toward each other. A revolving brush cleaned the cylinders, and the seed fell into another compartment.

A later model, run by water power, could produce 300 to 1,000 pounds a day. Machine Examined Whitney wrote to his father that he hoped to keep his invention a "profound secret," but rumor spread so quickly that long before he could get to Washington and take out a patent his workshop had been broken open and his machine examined. The marauders discovered that the gin was easy enough to copy, and on the strength of what they saw they planted cotton on a scale never dreamed of before. In 1792 the United States was exporting only 138,000 pounds of cotton. Two years later that figure had risen to 1,601,000 pounds.

Never had any invention made such an immediate impression upon society, abroad as well as at home. Slavery Spurts In England the invention of spinning frames and power looms had created a demand which could be filled only from the sou them states. By the end of the first quarter of the 19th Cen men of any special interest in the political process. THEN AND NOW i The memory returned the other day in contemplation of the calculated design of 'the Democrats and the liberals of the state to represent Gov. Nelson's difficulties in getting confirmation of Matt Schimcnz to the public service commission as a consequence of the machinations of the "utility lobby." In point of fact, the utility lobby, such as it is, was deliberately and carefully a non-combatant.

There is not a line on the record about the position of the public service corporations on the nomination of the Milwaukee alderman. If there has been any informal lobbying activity, the state capitol press row has been negligent. There has not been a single reliable report of such activity. Parenthetically the lawyers and special counsel of the power companies and others are usually called "the utility lobby," which may give the impression that there are great numbers of them hovering over the legislature at work. In fact there are the presence of United States troops in Japan and all rules and regulations governing their residency were unconstitutional.

Undoubtedly the Japanese Supreme Court, which has ruled before that the troops could stay, will reverse the decision. But the matter is likely to turn into a political football. There are two basic problems beneath the conflict. One involves the dispute among the Japanese people and political parties in the country whether or not peace can better be achieved through the presence of the United States forces or through becoming an unarmed neutralized nation. Secondly, can a nation be regarded as sovereign if it is dependent perhaps for its very existence upon the arms of another country? The United States has made great effort to insist that it is, even going to the lengths of treaty permitting the foreign trial of military personnel and families.

But even this must be regarded as something of a bargain so that our forces may stay abroad. It is part of the over-all United States policy of means to prevent war. i It also should be noted that this policy today is based upon the need for strength to insure peace. This is a long, long way from the foggy philosophy that dictated the Japanese constitution. tea'.

An Early cotton gin. ket, bayonet, ramrod, wiper and screwdriver. After some haggling the offer was accepted. Whitney journeyed down to Washington and returned to New Haven with a contract in his pocket for 10,000 muskets, costing $13.40 each, to be delivered within two years. He proposed to manufacture these muskets on a new principle, the principle of interchangeable parts.

Interchange of Parts Here was a man who as early as 1798 could visualize the government's need of a constant supply of fire-arms, who could devise methods of production that would guarantee such a supply, and who, handicapped by the lack of a machjne that would enable workmen to cut metal according to pattern, proceeded to invent one which has remained unchanged in principle for a century and a half. This milling machine, as it was called, was in itself a major innovation. It was the cornerstone of his new system of interchangeable parts, by means of which he was able to make the same parts of different guns as much like each other as "the successive impressions of a copper plate engraving." Life in America had produced plenty of mechanics, particularly in New England, but few craftsmen. What Whitney did was to substitute for 'the skill of the craftsman the uniformity of the machine. Whitney himself probably never realized how far his would reach.

The new technique which had been adopted as a defense measure for the manufacture, of firearms was soon found to be no less applicable to other industries. The Connecticut clockm a began making brass clocks instead of wooden clocks, as soon as the advantages of interchangeable manufacture were recognized. Elias Howe and Isaac Singer followed with the sewing machine, and before the outbreak of the Civil war Cyrus McCor- be equally dangerous, for it would have risked the enmity of a man who might very well nave been confirmed and who would have been less than human if he failed to remember such a slight in his official capacity later. MUTE The Wisconsin Democratic leader, talking off the record at the far-from-home cocktail party a decade ago, was more right than he knew. This correspondent doesn't doubt that the utility industry of Wisconsin, had it been given a choice, would have dissented on the nomination of Schimenz.

But there is a heavy irony 25 YEARS AGO Saturday, April 14, 1934 Eb Harwood represented Appleton photographers at a meeting of 100 state photographers at Madison, Friday. Two Appleton boys, John Fourness and Jackie Seller, were at Racine competing in the state table tennis tournament. Richard VanWyk, Apple-ton, was elected vice president of district organization of Odd Fellow Encampments. Dr. J.

P. Canavan, Nee-hah, was elected president of Theda Clark -hospital staff. Other officers elected were Dr, F. Brunkhorst, vice president, and Dr. II.

L. Baxter, secretary and treasurer. 10 YEARS AGO Saturday, April 16, 1949 Winifred Pierre, Shiocton, (T mick and his rivals were producing the harvesters and reapers that rolled back the frontier and revolutionized farming the world over. A Genius Unaware For these inventions and a hundred others Eli Whitney paved the way. The successful application of his theory of interchangeable parts proved a landmark in the over-all growth of American mass production.

In the southern states the rich planters who had profited so enormously from the cotton gin paid no attention to the increasing tempo of industrial activity in the north. One southern state, South Carolina, paid $50,000 to the inventor of the cotton gin as a belated acknowledgment of what society owed him, but no one in the south seemed to be aware of the new techniques in manufacture evolved by this same inventor, techniques of which the seceding states were soon to find themselves desperately in need. The fact was that conditions of labor, soil, and climate had produced a static society in the south. It is one of the ironies of history that the man who inadvertently contributed to the downfall of the south by his invention of the cotton gin should also have blazed the trail leading to the technological supremacy of the north. The loss of the will to fight in the days of the confederacy can be traced in large part to the feeling that the south had reached the limit of its resources, whereas in the north every deficiency in equipment could always be made good.

Eli Whitney died in 1825, long before the "irrepressible conflict" had cast its shadow over American history. He himself was unaware of the part he had played in the expansion of slavery, just as he was unaware of the mighty industrial forces he had set in motion. (Copyright 1959) Distributed by AP Newsfeatures in a situation that sees the utilities in a cul de sac, when they cannot move without damaging themselves, and when having remained quite immobile, they are being blamed for the consequences nevertheless and in total disregard for the evidence at hand: It is difficult to conceive any other special interest in legislative politics in such a defenseless position. Try to imagine organized labor, or any other organized business, or medicine, or farming standing mute in such circumstances. The story teller at the long-ago party was quite right.

This is a strange state political system and one that would leave politicians and others in most other political centers of the state shaking their heads in disbelief. was awarded a good citizenship certi i a by he Daughters of the American Revolution. Howard Troyer, professor of English, and F. Theodore Cloak, professor of dramatics at Lawrence college, were guests of Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity. Mrs.

Les Gurnee, Apple-ton, was to be hostess to the officers of the auxiliary to the United Com i a 1 Travelers at her home Monday evening. Mrs. Gurnee was, president of the auxiliary. Champion of the Five by Eight Bowling league was the Appleton Coated Paper' company team. Members were Ruby Schulz, Sally Treiber, Marion Weyenberg, Lois Helser and Edith Under the Ccpitof Dome State Attitude Toward Public Utilities Strange Playing Pingpong With Steel hardly more than half a dozen.

There are many other special interest groups more heavily represented. Organized labor, for example, has two or three men on the scene to every one who is representing, even part-time, any corporation under the regulatory control of the public service commission. A moment's reflection will suggest to any reasonably objective person why the utilities were carefully non-commi 1 1 a 1 on Schimenz. To have endorsed him would have been the kiss of death, in this administration. Schimcnz then would have been suspect by his own sponsors.

To oppose him would looking Backward a pound. It is these fragments that have been sold to the Formosa steel plant for use in the reproduction of many articles, possibly some more shells which will go hurtling back to the Chinese mainland shortly. The people on Quemoy report that business hasn't been very good lately for the reds have been firing shells only on the odd numbered days of the month and then not a great number. The tone of the report indicates that those engaged in salvaging the scrap iron would appreciate a little more attention from the mainland. It seems probable that the other residents of the island would much 'prefer to have the reds ship their shells by boat directly to Formosa.

When the Red Chinese began to shell the Quemoy Islands a little over a year ago many people doubted if the shelling could be as severe as was actually being reported. Reports of the thousands of shells dropped on the islands led many to believe no one could possibly live there under such a severe assault. There no longer is need to doubt, however, for the shells can now be counted. Reports are that Tangeng Iron Works at Kaohsiung in South Formosa has purchased a stock of shell fragments from the Quemoy Islands. After each shelling the civilians on Quemoy picked up the fragments for sale to scrap dealers at about two cents BY JOHN WYXGAARD Madison About a decade ago this reporter was a member of a social gather ing in Wash-l which was being regaled by a i sconsin mocrat-ic leader of the time about the great game of politics as it was be ing played in Wisconsin.

With such amusement and with obviously incredulous reactions from his companions, this Democratic chieftain was explaining the differences between the Wisconsin state capitol, then under solid Republican rule, and politics in much of the rest of the country. As an example he illustrated with the difficulties of the utility lobbyists in getting their story told. The Wisconsin political atmosphere was such, he confided, that the utility representatives were virtually the most friendless and lonely spokes Wyneaard Signs of Progress in Appleton What Others are Saying Armada of Peace to Open Seaway Project 79 YEARS AGO Quoted from the Appleton Crescent for the week of April 17, 1880. Our streets have been thronged with people this week, most of them men from abroad looking with reference to making a home in our city or county. About 20 building lots have been purchased within the last fortnight and over 20 new dwellings are today in process of erection.

The telephone line is to be extended from Appleton to Kaukauna. This will fa-, cilitate business' operations in the growing village down the river. The B. F. Freat Company has secured a location on the Fourth ward water power and proposes to carry on the lumber business her crew can reflect that she could have carried on her deck more than one of Commodore Isaac Chauncey's squadrons based Bt Sackett's Harbor.

And as she sails down Lake Erie and by Put in Bay her men can imagine but no more the boom of the guns as the vessels of gallant Commodores Perry and Barclay fought for control of the western country on that fateful September day in 1813. For since then there -have been "revenue cutters" and Coast Guard craft, Canadian and American, to police and protect that tremendous waterway and boundary from the St. Lawrence to Duluth. But no clash between the brother nations which share the north of North America. ports, carrying 8,000 officers and sailors, and, with 1,000 marines, put on five amphibious landing exercises.

The magnitude of the seaway will be epitomized by the heavy cruiser Macon 13,600 tons, 670 feet long, 71-foot beam. She is heavier than was the battleship Oregon of Spanish American War fame almost as heavy as the battleship Connecticut, Admiral "Bob" Evans' flagship of the globe-circling armada of 1908. As she enters Lake Ontario treat Tilt Christian Sctrnrc Monitor This coming summer the Great Lakes will entertain visitors of a kind not seen since the naval battle of 1813: warships, major In their day and place. The United States Navy Is sending a task force of 28 vessels through the St. Lawrence seaway to the Great Lakes as a joint contribution with Canada and Britain to celebrate the opening of that gigantic project.

The ships will visit 25 lake Potomac Fever by Flctchcr Knebc1' Cuba's Fidel Castro visits Washington. If he gets any financial help here, it'll be by a whisker. They're calling Stu Symington's presidential boom a sonic boom. You can't see it or feel it, but the distant rumble has Humphrey and Kennedy scared to death. Vice President Nixon finished his tax return just before deadline, Joint declaration: He made Pat spent it.

Senate Democrats oppose Clare Luce bs ambassador to Brazil. They claim her tongue is so sharp, she's the female Harry Truman of the finishing school set..

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Pages Available:
1,598,145
Years Available:
1897-2024