Get subscribed to our newsletter
Get interesting updates to your email inbox.
A mechanical cotton picker is a complex and large piece of machinery designed to do the work of hundreds of field laborers in a short amount of time. It has a lot of moving parts to it that are extremely important. Cotton pickers generally come in two types, though some newer models will combine features of both, as well as cotton harvesting machines, which used to be separate devices. The spindle picker, a machine that uses rotating spindles to pull off cotton from the boll, was the first successful picker and remains one of the most common types of cotton pickers. The cotton stripper-type picker, a machine that removes the cotton from the boll and separates other components of the cotton plant, is used with success in areas such as Texas and Arkansas. Both types of pickers substantially reduce the time and human effort needed to pick cotton and are invaluable as labor-saving devices.
What is a Cotton Picker?
The two major types of cotton pickers work in significantly different ways and often include features of other less complex machines that were once themselves separate from the picking machines. The traditional spindle picker works through the movement of moisturized spindles that pull the cotton off the plant while spinning, allowing the cotton to neatly be removed from the spindle after a sufficient amount has been collected. The cotton is then removed by a doffer and blown towards a basket for collection to be placed in a module builder, a separate machine for baling the cotton. Because of their “soft” method of collection, cotton pickers can be used throughout the picking season and generally do not pull more than mature cotton.
By contrast, a cotton stripper, used in areas where only a single harvest can be reasonably expected or multiple picks are infeasible, actually tears the entire cotton boll, seed cotton and all, and is useful for harvesting not only the seed cotton but also the cotton by-products. A stripper is generally used at the end of a harvest when the growing season is almost over because it completely removes the cotton– including the immature seeds. At the end of the season, there is presumably no more picking to be done for the year so it’s okay if the other seeds are disrupted. These machines are popular primarily in Texas and Arkansas, and have a long history there, as will be discussed later.
While module builders have been used over the decades for baling cotton, newer models of both types of machines often include baling equipment built-in, thus reducing the need for a module builder. For smaller growing areas, often a single cotton picker can do most of the work needed for picking, harvesting, and baling cotton.
When Was the Cotton Picker Invented?
Rembert and Prescott’s 1850 model of the cotton stripper represented the beginning of a long evolution in the development of cotton picking machines. The earliest models of cotton pickers were often good at harvesting plants, but not the seed cotton. Due to this, John Rust’s 1932 spindle picker revolutionized the industry in terms of picking seed cotton. His 1936 demonstration of the spindle picker led to a large-scale revolution in the industry of cotton picking, and the spindle picker remains the most well-known model of cotton picking machinery today.
Meanwhile, cotton strippers had a divergent history with an identical origin point, one that goes back to the earlier attempts in developing harvesting machines before Rust’s spindle picker and closer to Rembert and Prescott’s original design. The first cotton stripping patent was given to John Hughes in 1871, and the machines became a staple in areas such as West Texas.
Because cotton strippers could remove the whole plant, they obviously had utility for more than just the soft seed cotton. The first cotton strippers were actually mule driven and existed before the great depression, often mistakenly called “cotton sleds” because they were placed on sled runners. But it was not until 1931 that Deere Corp began selling mechanical cotton strippers on a large scale. The earliest stripping machines were not commercially successful, but the rise of cotton stripper sales took off after the Great Depression, with John Deere continuing as one of the leading producers of cotton strippers.
Where Can You Get Parts for Your Cotton Picker?
Because of the complexity involved with mechanical cotton pickers, breakdowns are usually for serious and identifiable reasons. If a part fails on a cotton picker, it’s best to go with experts who understand how cotton pickers work and what goes wrong. Mechanical failures are often due to parts that need to be rebuilt or replaced. Due to the nature of outdoor work, there are a number of ways things can go wrong even with the best cotton pickers available. When parts need to be replaced and pickers need to be fixed, it would do cotton harvesters good to contact Certi-Pik, USA.
Long regarded as experts in cotton pickers, cotton strippers, and other cotton harvesting machines, Certi-Pik, USA is well-known in the United States and internationally as a leader in replacement parts for all types of cotton pickers and stripping machines. Not only does Certi-Pik understand the nature of cotton picker failure and diagnosis, but they also carry a full line of parts and supplies for cotton pickers to get your machine up and running again. Their knowledgeable staff will be able to help you get the parts you’re looking for.
Certi-Pik proudly carries complete sets of parts for all of the top mechanical cotton pickers and strippers, including John Deere and Case IH, and CNH model harvesters. Certi-Pik carries a full line of replaceable parts for your cotton picker that includes parts such as cam tracks, nuts, hoses, scrapping plates, picker and grid bars, gears and more.
They can also custom build parts for your cotton picker, as well as rebuild parts when needed if they are not readily available. Cotton machine owners all over the United States (and the world) trust Certi-Pik to have the parts they need when something goes wrong with their machine.
Also Read- Ways to Make Money in the Stock Market
If it’s not obvious yet, modern cotton harvesting machines are big, have a complex history, and a lot of parts. The beauty of the modern machine is that it is capable of doing the work of what used to require hundreds of human laborers (the Rust model in 1932 could replace 75 workers with one row of cotton: modern pickers can work with six rows of cotton at once, and strippers can handle up to eight). Little more than a century ago, the idea of a machine capable of clearing an entire cotton harvest on its own was no more than a dream.
As kids growing up in different states, Shoba Narayan and Michael Maliakel shared a love of one favorite film — "Aladdin." Both are of Indian descent, and in the animated movie, they saw people who looked like them.
That shared love has gone full-circle this month as Narayan and Maliakel lead the Broadway company of the musical "Aladdin" out of the pandemic, playing Princess Jasmine and the hero from the title, respectively.
"Growing up, there was such little South Asian and Middle Eastern representation in the American media, and Princess Jasmine was really all I had. She was a huge role model to me as someone who was intelligent and strong and independent and beautifully curious, and that's who I wanted to be," says Narayan, who grew up in Pennsylvania.
The pair arrived at "Aladdin" in very different ways. Maliakel is making his Broadway debut, but Narayan is a musical theater veteran, having made her Broadway debut in "Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812" and touring with "Hamilton" as Eliza Hamilton.
She was in "Wicked" as Nessarose when the pandemic shut down Broadway in March 2020. Her agent called in April with the prospect of auditioning for Jasmine. She sang "A Whole New World" over Zoom on gallery mode, pretending to be on a magic carpet. "It was a very unique experience," she says, laughing.
Disney producers flew her to New York to meet face-to-face and go through the material again. Narayan was asked to read with different Aladdin potential actors. She got the gig: "I went from a wicked witch to a Disney princess. Can't complain."
Maliakel, a native of New Jersey, came from the world of opera, a baritone who studied at Johns Hopkins University and the 2014 winner at the National Musical Theatre Competition. He trained his voice to be flexible, waiting for the right window to open.
"I didn't really see a lot of people doing what I wanted to do in the world," he says. "There just wasn't a whole lot of representation. So it's really hard to imagine yourself in those scenarios when you have no one to look up to as a role model or an example of how it could be done."
He played Porter and understudied Raoul in a national tour of "The Phantom of the Opera," which ended its run in Toronto just before the pandemic hit.
"I always dreamed that Broadway might happen someday," he says, laughing. "I'm just kind of dipping my toes into the waters in one of the biggest male roles in the business right now, and it's kind of surreal."
'Aladdin' featured as a Broadway Musical with a cast of Indian origin playing the main roles Image credit: Wikimedia Commons
Broadway's "Aladdin" is a musical adaptation of the 1992 movie starring Robin Williams. The musical's story by Chad Beguelin hews close to the film: A street urchin finds a genie in a lamp and hopes to woo a princess while staying true to his values and away from palace intrigue.
Key Alan Menken songs from the film — including "Friend Like Me," ″Prince Ali" and "A Whole New World" — are used. The lyricists are the late Howard Ashman, Tim Rice and Beguelin.
The show — and it's two new leads — had a few performances to celebrate Broadway's return from the pandemic this fall before it was forced to close for several days when breakthrough COVID-19 cases were detected. The actors say the safety of the cast, crew and audience are paramount and closing was the smart move.
"This is how we keep theater going in the pandemic," Maliakel says. "The other option is to just not do it at all. And that's not an option. A week's worth of lost performances, when we look back on things in a year or so, I think will just be a little blip on the radar."
They both look back with heart-thumping appreciation at the early performances when they welcomed back theater-starved audiences, who gave the company 3-minute standing ovations just for singing "A Whole New World."
"It is every brown girl's dream to be singing that song on an actual flying carpet," says Narayan. "And the fact that I got to do it on Broadway in the full costume with the lights and the 32-piece orchestra beneath me — oh, my gosh, I really had to hold it together. It was emotional overload for me."
Maliakel recalls that he and his brothers wore out their VHS cassette version of "Aladdin." He remembers having lunchboxes, pajamas and bed sheets with the film's theme. Aladdin was "every little brown kid's prince." Now he is that prince.
"Now, finally, to get to get paid to do it on the world's largest stage — it's not lost on me how crazy that is," he says. "The responsibility of my position right now feels really great. This moment sort of feels bigger than me in some ways, and I don't take that lightly. I think it's a really exciting time." (VOA/RN)
Keywords: Aladdin, Broadway, Musical, Indian Descendant cast,
Jack Daniel's is the world's most popular whiskey brand, but until recently, few people knew the liquor was created by Nathan "Nearest" Green, an enslaved Black man who mentored Daniel.
"We've always known," says Debbie Staples, a great-great-granddaughter of Green's who heard the story from her grandmother. … "He made the whiskey, and he taught Jack Daniel. And people didn't believe it … it's hurtful. I don't know if it was because he was a Black man."
But people believe it now — in large part because Brown-Forman Corporation, owner of Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey, has acknowledged the foundational role Green played in the brand's development.
"The truth of the matter is, Nearest Green was the first head distiller of Jack Daniels whiskey," says Matt Blevins, global brand director for Jack Daniels Tennessee Whiskey. "We're very proud of this story and are very committed to amplifying it and acknowledging that. In the past, we did not amplify it the way that we could have in earlier eras, but we're about the future and moving forward."
America's first-known Black master distiller
The story begins in Lynchburg, Tennessee, current home of the Jack Daniel Distillery. In the mid-1800s, Green's slaveholders hired him out to a local preacher named Dan Call. Green, who had a reputation as a skilled distiller, made whiskey for Call, using a sugar maple charcoal filtering process that is believed to have originated in West Africa. Daniel, a boy who worked for Call, became Green's apprentice and learned the special technique that gave the Tennessee whiskey its smooth taste.
After emancipation in 1863, when all enslaved people were freed, Daniel purchased Call's distillery and hired Green as Jack Daniel Distillery's first master distiller.
"The best knowledge that we have is that they had a mentor-and-mentee sort of a relationship, and I would say, a friendship," says Blevins. "The stories that have been passed down [talk] about the care that Jack Daniel took to always acknowledge … the Green family."
Historic photo of Jack Daniel (in white hat) seated next to George Green, the son of Nathan "Nearest" Green Image source: VOA
There are no known pictures of Green, but there is one of Daniel with Green's son, George, sitting next to Daniel, rather than being relegated to the back.
"That photograph shows the respect that they had for one another and for their families," says Stefanie Benjamin, an assistant professor of tourism management at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. "To be not only allowed in that photograph, but also positioned in the foreground and sitting right next to Jack Daniels himself."
Search for the truth
Green's role in the history of the brand was uncovered by a writer and entrepreneur named Fawn Weaver, who became fascinated by Green's unheralded contribution to the world's most popular whiskey. After extensive research, including interviews with Green's descendants, Weaver shared her documentation with the company.
"I was very pleasantly surprised when they embraced my research and updated their records to reflect that," Weaver told VOA via email. "I think it said a lot about the character of their company that they moved that quickly to course correct."
Jack Daniel's has incorporated Green's contributions into the official history of the brand, but Weaver has gone a step further. She invested $1 million of her own money to establish Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey, which is now the fastest-growing independent American whiskey brand in U.S. history.
Fawn Weaver (center in red) with her leadership team at Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey, including master distiller Victoria Eady Butler (far left), the great‐great‐granddaughter of Nearest Green. (Photo courtesy Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey) Image credit: VOA
The company's master distiller is Victoria Eady Butler, Green's great‐great‐granddaughter.
"Uncle Nearest is the most-awarded American whiskey or bourbon of 2019, 2020 and 2021, and the fact that it is the bloodline of Nearest Green blending and approving what goes into our bottles is something I marvel at regularly," Weaver says. "Victoria is an absolute natural when it comes to blending, and to watch her work is to see something pretty darn close to perfection."
Seven generations of Green's family have worked at the Jack Daniel Distillery, a tradition that continues today with Staples and two of her siblings. But the Green family did not benefit when the Daniel family sold the Jack Daniel distillery to Brown-Forman for $20 million in 1956.
"Although they [the Green family] were very well off in terms of finances [in the 1800s] in that time, they were not the owners or co-owners of the Jack Daniel distillery," Benjamin says. "And so, those millions of dollars have been passed down through generations of the Jack Daniel family, and not necessarily the Green family."
Maturing barrels of whiskey in a barrel house on the grounds of the Jack Daniel Distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee. (Photo courtesy Jack Daniel's) Image credit: VOA
Weaver's Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey has joined forces with Jack Daniel's to launch a program that provides support, expertise and resources to African-American entrepreneurs entering the spirits industry.
Staples says her family is thrilled their great-great-grandfather is finally being recognized.
"It's kind of mind-boggling … and we are so proud," Staples says. "And to think that from here to Africa, that recipe goes all the way back. And to think that he played such an important role in establishing this company. It sometimes seems unreal. It really does."
Because of Weaver's tenacity, Green's story, although left untold for more than a century, will not be lost to history. But that's not the case with so many other stories of Black achievement and contributions to the nation.
"Part of telling his story and sharing his legacy is to give credit and to give attention to a person who, if it wasn't for him, we wouldn't have the Jack Daniel whiskey as we know it today," Benjamin says. "It showcases yet another example of how formerly enslaved people, Black people, African American people who have really built this country, are left out of the dominant narrative that we tell." (VOA/RN)
(This article is originally written by Dora Mekouar)
Keywords: Jack Daniel's, Whiskey, Nathan Green, Slavery, Black achievement
Cricket fans can now book the ultimate experience with the official accommodation booking partner for the ICC Men's T20 World Cup, Booking.com. The T20 Pavillion, a bespoke cricket-themed luxury stay that transforms the Presidential Suite at Grand Hyatt Mumbai Hotel and Residences into a classic cricket stadium.
The suite offers guests an all-inclusive once-in-a-lifetime experience during the India vs Pakistan ICC Men's T20 World Cup match on October 24, 2021, packed with quirks and luxuries that is sure to satisfy even the biggest cricket enthusiast. Additionally, as a part of the experience, guests will also have the exclusive opportunity to meet Bollywood actor Shraddha Kapoor at The T20 Pavilion.
The booking window that opens at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday and will be booked on a 'first come, first serve' basis with check-in date on October 24, 2021 and check-out on October 25, 2021. | Photo by Alessandro Bogliari on Unsplash
For one night only, guests can soak in the energy of a roaring stadium to enjoy the epic match on a life-sized screen while seated on comfortable sofas -- just like the luxury box seats at the stadium. They can also head to the locker room (dining room) next to the field (living room) to have some energy drinks, just like a cricketer would do or head to the bedroom, transformed into a net practice area. It's got the field, the pitch, the locker room, pitching nets and cricket memorabilia infused in every element of the room.
The booking window opens at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday and will be booked on a 'first come, first serve' basis with check-in date on October 24, 2021, and check-out on October 25, 2021. The T20 Pavilion is priced at Rs 6666 only in honour of all the great sixes smashed at the T20 World Cup. The T20 Pavilion can accommodate up to four guests. Cricket fans can visit the website or mobile app to book this cricket-inspired stay. (IANS/ MBI)