The cotton gin is a machine that removes the seed from the fibre. “Gin” originates from the word engine. Invented by Eli Whitney 225 years ago, it revolutionized the cotton industry. The gin was able to separate more fibre from the seed in a day than usually was separated by hand in several months. Today, the farmers bring their harvested cotton to the gin, where it is cleaned roughly. Then the fibre is separated and pressed into bales. Essentially, there are two kinds of gins: roller-gin (on the picture) and saw gins.
Pictures courtesy of Ernst Grimmelt, Velener Textil