Inventors are inspirational. George Washington Carver was an inventor, botanist, teacher, and author. George Washington Carver was born into slavery in Missouri and his birthdate is unknown. He had ten sisters and a brother. His parents names were Giles and Mary and his masters names were Moses and Susan Carver. When slavery was abolished the Carvers raised George and his brother James. His “Aunt Susan” taught him the fundamentals of reading and writing.
When he was young he tried to go to a school that taught black children that was miles away from his home. He found it closed when he arrived, but met a woman, Mariah Watkins, that inspired him to learn as much as he could and share his learning. After graduating high school, he attempted to enroll in college. In 1886, he homesteaded land in Beeler, Kansas. He farmed this land and earned money by doing odd jobs and working as someone else’s ranch hand. In 1890, he enrolled at Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa to study art and piano. In 1891, with encouragement he moved on to study botany at Iowa State Agricultural College. His work got him national recognition and respect. He became a teacher and faculty member, the first black man to do so, at Iowa State. In 1896 Booker T. Washington hired Carver to head the Agriculture Department at Tuskegee Institute. He taught there for 47 years.
From 1915 until 1923, Carver focused on new uses for peanuts, sweet potatoes, pecans, soybeans and other crops. He taught others the importance of crop rotation for soil. Farmers grew new cash crops and had crops for food as well. Carver distributed recipes using the new crops. He did research and collected recipes and distributed them as agricultural bulletins. In 1916, Carver became a member of the Royal Society of Arts in England for his work. In the early 1920s, he spoke as a peanut expert to the United States House of Representatives about adopting a tariff on imported peanuts. Due to segregation this was a rarity and spread his status as a public figure. He promoted peanuts and Tuskegee University, as well as, racial harmony and cooperation.
Three Presidents of the United States and the Crown Prince of Sweden met/and or studied with Carver. In his seventies, Carver created the George Washington Carver Foundation at Tuskegee and the Carver Museum. George Washington Carver died on January 5, 1943. He has been honored in multiple ways including with a national monument. This monument opened in 1953 and was the first to honor someone other than a president and an African American.
George Washington Carver invented hundreds of uses for peanuts, soybeans, pecans, and sweet potatoes. He published 44 practical bulletins for farmers. Much has been written to honor him, including a christian book series about successful people of faith, which Carver developed as a young man and kept throughout his life. Be inspired! Have a bright day!