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Burton Cotton Gin Museum. The Oldest Operating Cotton Gin in America. Burton Cotton Gin Museum. A group of local farmers established the Burton Farmers Gin Association on December 2, 1913 with the goal of constructing a gin in Burton, Texas .
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Burton Cotton Gin Museum The Oldest Operating Cotton Gin in America
Burton Cotton Gin Museum A group of local farmers established the Burton Farmers Gin Association on December 2, 1913 with the goal of constructing a gin in Burton, Texas The Gin was constructed as a two story building using cypress wood and tin. The machinery was powered by a steam engine with a wood fueled boiler. In 1919 coal replaced cordwood as the main fuel source.
Burton Cotton Gin Museum In 1925, the steam engine was replaced by a Bessemer 125 HP crude oil engine. The engine arrived by railroad from Grove City, PA. A wooden platform had to be built to move the 16 ton Bessemer from the rail car to the gin. Using jacks, crowbars, mule teams, and most of the able bodied men in Burton, it took 1 ½ days to move the engine into position.
Burton Cotton Gin Museum Five Lummus Gin Stands formed the battery of the Burton Farmers Gin. Each gin stand contained 80 saw blades spinning at 250 rpm separating the cotton lint from the seed. The original gin stands at the gin contained 60 saw blades. In 1923 these were upgraded to 70 blades. The current battery of 80 blades was installed in 1932.
Burton Cotton Gin Museum Robert Munger’s double press box system was also a feature of the Burton Farmers Gin. When the first box was filled, the press was rotated to allow the empty box to be filled while the full box was baled. Baling time was shortened considerably by this system. A bale could be produced at the Burton Farmers Gin in only 12 minutes.
Burton Cotton Gin Museum A protecting shed was added to house the Bessemer Engine along with an office for the gin manager located upstairs . New dryers, ducts, and a stick removing machine Was added in the early 1960’s which changed the roof line and extended it. The configuration of the gin changed several times over its 60 years of operation. The Seed House was added in 1923 when the additional uses for cotton seed became known.
Burton Cotton Gin Museum With the decline of cotton farming in the Burton area in the 1970’s the Burton Farmers Gin found it difficult to stay in business. In 1974 the gin only produced 7 bales of cotton. In 1975 the gin closed its doors for the last time. Or so it was thought. . . . .
Burton Cotton Gin Museum In 1987 a group of citizens organized Operation Restoration to save the Burton Farmers’ Gin Various private, state, and national groups lent their support for the project The National Trust for Historical Preservation The Texas Historical Commission The Smithsonian Institution Lummus Industry and Cooper Lufkin Company
Burton Cotton Gin Museum The Burton Farmers Gin has been recognized by the Texas Historical Commission, the National Trust for Historical Preservation, and designated as a National Historic Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. The National Trust for Historical Preservation states, “It has been unmistakably clear that the gin is a resource of astounding integrity almost unheralded in its field.”
Burton Cotton Gin Museum The museum and gin is visited by some 10,000 people annually from every state and from 37 different countries. The Burton Cotton Gin Museum seeks to bring about a better understanding and appreciation of the history and heritage of the cotton industry in Texas and the United States. The Burton Cotton Gin Museum continues to tell the story of cotton and cotton processing as it was at the turn of the 20th century. With your support you can help us keep this history alive for future generations.