Samford University Library Samford University Library Special Collection, Samford University Library

Treasure Chest

The Treasure Chest is updated several times a year to feature different materials housed in the Special Collection department.

Previous Treasures

Daniel Pratt's Superior Cotton Gins

Daniel Pratt, Alabama's first great industrialist, was born in 1799 in Temple, New Hampshire. At the age of 19, Pratt sailed to Georgia where he became manager for the Griswold Cotton Gin Factory. Later he became partners with Samuel Griswold and persuaded him to establish a business in Alabama.

In 1832 Pratt moved to Autauga County and opened a small blacksmith and cotton gin shop. Later, Pratt purchased a large piece of land in central Alabama and established the town of Prattville for his workers. He believed in good work coming from good wages and built housing, churches and a library for his workers who were paid $16 a month for the men and $9 for women.

Cotton gin manufacturing continued to be very successful for Daniel Pratt and the Daniel Pratt Gin Company. The company grew and changed names over the years becoming one of the largest gin manufacturers in the country as well as the world. More recently the company has been known as the Continental Eagle Corporation and has contracted work with Bajaj Steel Industries, Ltd. of Nagpur, India for manufacturing purposes.

The American Cotton Planter March 1859

Resources

Alabama Hall of Fame

American Cotton Planter

American Memory

Continental Eagle Corporation 1832 - 2009

Encyclopedia of Alabama

Evans, Curtis J., The Conquest of Labor: Daniel Pratt and Southern Industrialization

Olliff, Martin T. "Daniel Pratt" American National Biography, Ed. John A. Garraty & Mark C. Carnes. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999

Tarrant, S. F. H., Hon. Daniel Pratt: A Biography: With Eulogies on His Life and Character