ASME-Landmark:Burton Farmers Gin Mill


The Burton Farmers Gin Mill is the earliest known survivor of an integrated cotton ginning system widely used to process cotton from wagon to bale in a continuous operation.

The extreme difficulty of ginning cotton—that is, separating the fiber from the seeds—was a problem that had plagued mankind for thousands of years. Although the circular saw gin teeth design was developed in the United States between 1789 and 1805, and steam engines were introduced to power individual machines like the gin stand and press, manual labor was still required to move the cotton from one operation to the next. The development of the system cotton ginning plant by Robert Munger introduced the idea of pneumatically conveying the cotton from the wagon to the press while mechanical conveyors handled the seed and trash from the ginned cotton.

The Burton gin machinery was designed and built in 1914 by the Lummus Cotton Gin Company. It can process seven bales per hour. Five gin stands, stick machine, burr machine, separators, cleaners, press pump, and pneumatic conveying fans are driven by a 125-hp Bessemer oil engine. This gin ran commercially until 1974 and was restored to operating condition in 1993. The Bessemer engine powered the entire mill, removing manual labor from the ginning process and allowing the Texas industry to evolve into the age of mechanization and integrated machine systems. See ASME website for more information