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Eli Whitney Maple

science-hill-maple.jpgEli Whitney's cotton gin is possibly the most famous scientific invention from a Yale alumni.  This 40 year old sugar maple tree (Acer saccharum) grew along Whitney Avenue on Science Hill near the Gibbs, Kline and Bass buildings (visible in the background of the picture). The tree had died and was partially decayed but was still standing until August 22, 2010 when it fell onto the sidewalk during a moderate wind storm. Fortunately, no one was under the tree when it came down.  The decay resulted in significant spalting that produces beautiful patterns of discoloration and pigmentation in the bowls and pens made from this Maple tree that grew along the street named after the famous Yalie.