Okay, time for a true confession. As much as I love history, when a friend invited my kids and I to come with her family on a field trip to a cotton gin, I accepted under duress only to be polite. I harbored the expectation that it would be the most boring history field trip in…well, in history.
Boy, was I wrong! 🙂
The kids were fascinated to learn what a huge impact cotton had on early and modern state economy, how something as simple as growing cotton affected a Civil War and land depletion, how something as simple as a little weevil or the Dust Bowl caused untold suffering. They saw how the cotton gin did the work of many men, cleaning the cotton, flash drying the bolls, and packing them into bales. They learned how modern gins use their by-products to enrich the environment.
If you’d like to make your own field trip to a cotton gin, the Burton Cotton Gin Museum in Burton, Texas would be a great place to start!
Hint: they usually have their big Cotton Gin Festival around the third week in April. Check their website for details!