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    Eli Whitney Autograph Letter Signed. One page, 8" x 9". New Haven; July 16, 1823. A letter to Secretary of War John C. Calhoun regarding a contract for muskets. In full: "Voucher for a further delivery of 500 muskets, will be found herewith inclosed, whereupon be pleased to direct a remittance of six thousand five hundred dollars to be made to Yr very respectful & very Obdt Servt Eli Whitney." Docketed on the verso in an unknown hand.

    After several lawsuits involving the patent of his cotton gin, Whitney sought a new venture and in 1798, backed by several influential individuals, he secured a contract with the federal government to furnish ten thousand stands of arms in two years. The turnaround time for such a feat was deemed impossible with the current mechanical methods available. Whitney had hoped to come up with a new production process; manufacturing interchangeable parts to exacting specifications. His plans did not work out as the problem proved more complex than Whitney believed; and the original contract took eight years to fulfill. Whitney would eventually develop methods and processes that would prove successful, and he was able to secure a second contract for 15,000 arms in 1812.

    Condition: Toning throughout, a bit darker at the edges. Expert restoration at the folds on the verso, replacing a few bits of paper loss at the edges, not affecting text. Small pin hole at top left, and minor chipping at edges. Ink remains bold, with a large and attractive signature.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2015
    4th-5th Wednesday-Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,320

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