Maymana City of Afghanistan for Hylander, American Inventors (1934); Mark Wahlgren Summers, The Gilded Age, or, The Hazard of New Functions (Prentice Hall, 1997). HOLLY A. BERKLEY, PH.D. HARDIN-SIMMONS UNIVERSITY Whitney, Eli (1765 1825) ELI WHITNEY’S NAME became synonymous with American ingenuity after his invention of the cotton gin, a device that separated cotton seeds from fiber. His invention made cotton king in the South: production of the short-staple cotton (a variety which grew well in North America but was difficult to clean) rose exponentially because of his innovation. Born in Massachusetts, Whitney studied at Yale University and worked as a schoolteacher to support himself. Maymana City of Afghanistan 2016.