Eli Whitney's Vest


Eli Whitney




Extracts raw materials into usable goods


Internal fracturing of whatever user creates


Wearing and touch

Collected by

Warehouse 12







Date of Collection

August 15, 1874



Short recap – invention of the cotton gin and popularization of interchangeable part. One led to explosive growth of American slave labor in the south, and the other large-scale manufacturing in the north. Both brought the country on to a collision course of industries culminating in civil war.

The cotton gin was basically a mechanical thresher that would strip the seeds from the fluff. A handful of sweat-drenched material turned into 55 pounds (25 kg) of clean supply overnight. It was easy to store and ship, turning it into the top export from the 1820s to 60s. Ironically, its effectiveness convinced landowners they could ramp up production and slavery became a profitable means of meeting demands.

Our New England wrangler was left broke and unrecognized in the immediate aftermath of the cotton gin patent. Laws were newly unenforced, so other manufacturers struck by copying his idea. With the French Revolution afoot, the US government feared being dragged into some new conflict. Whitney was one of many contracted to build 10,000 muskets for the army. Normal procedure then was an artisan crafts each component individually, meaning one piece breaking made it useless. Whitney demonstrated a different approach – each component has uniform dimensions to make replacement easier. Although his initial contract failed, he showed the government a mass manufacture model was more cost effective per part in the long term.


Turns the user into the equivalent King Midas, if he were a refinery plant in tow. Whatever they touch has the usable raw elements processed together into manmade goods. Cotton becomes a fold of cloth, bauxite ore smelts in the hand into aluminum and dumping random fruits with heavy cream together in a bowl makes a divine trifle.

Whatever they conjure up will be physically weak at its central point of mass. Changes in heat or pressure can cause crumbling within the center and the entire piece to collapse inwards on itself. The remains can’t be fused together again like the first time.

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