Two Different Era’s two Great Minds

The power of creativity is endless and should never stop. Eli Whitney and Elon Musk are two inventors That have a lot in common. These two inventors have similar counterparts in two different eras. I will explain early lives, Inventions, and their Impacts on the world. Here’s how these two have similarities Starting with their early lives. Inventors are needed today and were needed all throughout history. There are some people out there that have very creative ways of thinking that can help people around the world, make money from it, and let people know that they can be an inventor if they wanted to as they have done.

Starting with the old-timer Eli Whitney. He was born December 8th, 1765 and died January 8th, 1825. He grew up in Westboro, Massachusetts. In his early life he grew up in farm life as his father being a farmer. According to Jeannette Mirsky “ In May 1789 Whitney entered Yale College, where he learned many of the new concepts and experiments in science and the applied arts, as technology was then called”(2018).

Obviously, Whitney was a smart fella based on his educational career, he went on to graduate in 1792. After he graduated college he did find a job and this decision he made may have been a path that led him to achieve his goals. The job was to be a tutor in South Carolina. According to “On his way to his new position via boat, he met Catherine Greene, the widow of a Revolutionary War general”(2014).

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When Whitney runs into Greene she offers him a job to read law at her plantation which is ironic because Whitney was interested in law and he decides to go with her. That decision lead Eli Whitney be able to invent the cotton gin.

The early life of Elon Musk. Born in Pretoria, South Africa on June 28th in 1971 still living with some sensational ideas to come. His parents separated at age ten and he stayed with his dad most of the time. Musk was very interested in technology According to Colin Dodds “ When he was only 10, he became acquainted with programming an inexpensive home computer”. Starting to learn young is the best way and he really had an interest for technology at age ten. Later he graduated high school in his hometown. When Musk turned seventeen he moved to Canada so he wouldn’t have to serve in the South African army. While musk was in Canada he attended Queen’s University then went to the University of Pennsylvania to study business and physics. He successfully graduated with credibility in both subjects. After the University of Pennsylvania he wanted to get a Ph.D. at Stanford but according to “ However, his move was timed perfectly with the Internet boom, and he dropped out of Stanford after just two days to become a part of it, launching his first company, Zip2 Corporation”. Elon Musk did have some fortune on his decisions as well as Eli Whitney. That’s how Elon Musk’s early life went and started up.

The key inventions of Eli Whitney that made him recognized. As Whitney was working with Greene at the plantation Greene figured out that cotton was the crop on the rise she noticed it takes hours just to separate the cotton from the seeds. Whitney realized that the separation of the seeds and cotton can be done mechanically. Robert Woods says “He spent the next few months building a prototype”. It was no easy task but Whitney managed to make a Cotton Gin which worked wonders. It’s said that one hour of using the cotton gin equals the amount of about two days of by-hand work. Another bonus was that planters took to the widespread planting of green-seed cotton with immediate production. The cotton industry was increasing in the south,so the cotton gin helped make the crop a lot more profitable. Some other inventions Eli Whitney has had were milling machines and interchangeable parts for weaponry. A milling machine is a wheel cutting machine. After the cotton gin Whitney had a deal with the U.S government and handcrafted firearms because they were in need knowing there might be a potential war with France at the time.

The inventions of Elon Musk and what’s to come. Elon Musk’s creativity is great which allows him to keep generating craft ideas. Musk’s list of inventions are Tesla Motors, SpaceX, PayPal, Hyperloop, Zip2, Solar City, Electric jet, and he wants to merge the human mind with an artificial intelligence unit. Musk is an inventor that has numerous great innovations to his credit, the impact of which is unimaginable. This is to true, Elon Musk Will be one to remember in his generation. Zip2 was his first web software company that worked on making city guidelines for newspapers. Paypal started as then became PayPal. Tesla Motors and SpaceX are Musk’s most popular ideas. Tesla electric car company is in high demand because those cars are good for the environment. SpaceX designs launch and makes advanced rockets and spacecraft that is currently being tested. Therefore “Musk finds himself at the helm of a number of companies, each of which has goals firmly set on the future”. Musk is a busy man founder of many companies and has some ideas for the future that are scary and exciting. Such as Colonization on mars using the company SpaceX which has had many successful launches so far. Hyperloop is in the making, and in possibly the next few years you can be traveling at supersonic speeds.

Eli Whitney and Elon musk’s impact on society. Because of the cotton gin, Whitney allowed cotton, work, and land to be in demand even though slaves did this work at the time. Whitney also made cotton profitable which helped the south. Elon Musk has made an impact by helping the environment because of tesla he also has self-driving cars that some people love. Musk’s future plans are what the people are interested in and I for one am very excited to see. Similarities these men have are getting a good education Whitney from yale college, and Musk from Queen’s College, and the University of Pennsylvania. They both came from places that didn’t seem as good as it went for them. Whitney and Musk are notable inventors in their generations, and won’t be forgotten. What’s interesting to me is that they both took somewhat risky pathways that possibly changed their life forever for example when Whitney went with Greene to her plantation instead of the tutoring job, and how Musk Graduated just in time for the technological era.

The differences they had were obviously time periods. Eli Whitney was definitely limited on ideas because there was no technology which is what Musk is living in. Whitney’s impact is on the industrial revolution, and Musk’s impacts are on the Technological revolution. Therefore whitney’s inventions were with his hands he worked by myself, and Musk’s inventions were more company based which h has a lot of people working for him. Musk was born outside of the United States so it was harder for him to get to America for his educational and professional career.

These two inventors from two different eras are more alike than you think and now you know. What do you think would have happened to them if they traded places? Eli Whitney and Elon Musk have a lot in common. By their early lives, inventions, and impacts on society. Whitney impacted history by making the cotton crop profitable with the cotton gin, and helping the United Stated by making weapons because there was a potential of war at the moment. Elon Musk has helped impact history with his SpaceX company because of space exploration and working with NASA. Also, Tesla is making an impact because its an electric car and it’s good for the environment. His future intentions to impact history are colonization on mars with SpaceX and making transportation much faster with the hyperloop. Just two-generational inventors enjoyed what they do.

Work Cited

  1. “How Eli Whitney Changed The World.” The American Civil War,
  2. Schur, Joan. “Eli Whitney’s Patent for the Cotton Gin.” National Archives and Records Administration, National Archives and Records Administration,
  3. woods, Robert. “How the Cotton Gin Started the Civil War.”, 1 Sept. 2009,
  4. Buss, Dale. “For Insights Into Elon Musk’s Leadership Of Tesla, Look At How He Leads SpaceX, Author Says.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 31 Aug. 2018,
  5. Tiwari, Shewali . “11 Great Inventions By Elon Musk That Are Changing The World We Live In.”, India Times, 17 May 2018,
  6. Galeon, Dom. “Here’s a List of Everything Elon Musk Says He’ll Do by 2030.” Futurism, Futurism, 22 Nov. 2017,
  7. “Eli Whitney.”, A&E Networks Television, 28 Apr. 2017,
  8. “Elon Musk.”, A&E Networks Television, 5 Nov. 2018,
  9. Dodds, Colin. “Elon Musk Biography.” Investopedia, Investopedia, 28 Dec. 2017,

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Two Different Era’s two Great Minds. (2021, Dec 11). Retrieved from

Two Different Era’s two Great Minds
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