Instead, may I suggest FIESTA (aka FIESTA WARE). The housewares brand is produced by Homer Laughlin China Co. in the Wheeling area. FIESTA WARE has a strong history around the state (my grandma had FW dishes in the 30s in Braxton Co.) AND the brand is sold across the country in many major department store chains, such as Macy’s. The brand has seen a major resurgence in popularity–very popular in wedding registries, for example, thanks to its use of cheerful colors and the ability to mix and match pieces. FW serves as a good representative of the state’s strong pottery and glass craftsman heritage. People from outside the state are often surprised that a brand they know/love comes from WV.
However, like many inventors, Whitney (who died in 1825) could not have foreseen the ways in which his invention would change society for the worse. The most significant of these was the growth of slavery. While it was true that the cotton gin reduced the labor of removing seeds, it did not reduce the need for slaves to grow and pick the cotton. In fact, the opposite occurred. Cotton growing became so profitable for the planters that it greatly increased their demand for both land and slave labor. In 1790 there were six slave states; in 1860 there were 15. From 1790 until Congress banned the importation of slaves from Africa in 1808, Southerners imported 80,000 Africans. By 1860 approximately one in three Southerners was a slave.