Continental Cleaner Feeder cotton gin

Invented by Robert Munger of Dallas

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This cotton gin was used in the Hill Country community of Luckenbach in the late 1800s. It consists of two parts: the feeder (top half) and the separator (bottom half). The mechanics of the bottom portion were made by Smith Sons Gin and Machine Company in Birmingham, Alabama, and date to the 1890s. The top portion, manufactured by the Continental Gin Company in Dallas, was added after 1901. A gin of this size was capable of producing five to six bales of cotton a day.

The Continental Cleaner Feeder was developed in 1901 by Robert Munger. In the 1880s, after working in his father’s gin in Mexia, Texas, Munger began making improvements to cotton ginning machinery. He patented several inventions that improved the cotton ginning process, and in 1888 opened Munger Improved Cotton Machine Company in Dallas. His ideas and improvements gained recognition by cotton ginning manufacturers and were hailed as the most significant advancements in cotton ginning since Eli Whitney’s original invention. In 1899 Munger was part of the merger of six major companies (including Smith Sons) into the Continental Gin Company. The company went on to achieve massive success as the largest manufacturer of cotton gins in the United States.

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Continental Cleaner Feeder cotton gin Artifact from Luckenbach, TX
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