Cotton Planter Patented by N.C. Inventor

Picking cotton in New Bern in 1900. Image from the State ArchivesOn May 31, 1870, Richmond County inventor James Lytch was awarded a patent for the Eclipse Lytch Cottonseed Planter. Exhibited at agricultural fairs in North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, Lytch’s planter became the instrument of choice in the South. The planter could be purchased for $12. In 1872, Lytch received a medal from the Cape Fear Agricultural Association for his work with cotton planting. He also received an award at the International Cotton Expo in Atlanta in 1881. According to the inventor, 1,000 of his planters were in use by 1880.

Among Lytch’s other inventions were a cotton scraper, cider mill and fertilizer distributor. He also developed a door check for stopping doors, gates and window shutters, as well as a greaser for buggy axles. After James Lytch’s death in 1890, his son, Daniel, continued to produce the popular cotton planter in a manufacturing facility near the family home in the X-Way community of what is now Scotland County.

Read more about North Carolina inventions on NCpedia.

For more about North Carolina’s history, arts and culture, visit Cultural Resources online. To receive these updates automatically each day subscribe by email using the box on the right and follow us on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest.