George Washington Carver

American Scientist

Career

After George got his master's degree, he got an offer from Booker T. Washington. He was an African American educator and the head of the Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute. Booker T. Washington wanted to improve the black community's economy through education. His idea was that black people could get skills to work in the farm industry, which it could allow them to be economically equal to the white community. Despite that George had received many letters offering jobs, he accepted the offer from Booker T. Washington.
 
Once he arrived to Alabama George Carver became the director of the agricultural experiment station at the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama in 1896. He started to work teaching several disciplines like mycology, chemistry, agricultura science, and botany. In Alabama, George noticed the serious problem of Deep South has in the fields. The excessive cultivation of cotton and tobacco had damaged the land. The pest infestation and the sold depletion were some of the several problems that farmlands had. Then, George started to investigate a possible solution, and he found that natural composting could help the lands. Moreover, George explained why was necessary the rotation of crops and the use of leguminous plants like peanuts.
 
He taught farmer how to elaborate all the product derived from the peanut, and using this plant, farmers could make more money than from tobacco and cotton. George wanted to teach not just to students who attended the institute, but he wanted to reach the poor farmers. He knew that most of them did not have much education, so he sent them articles with a simple language to teach them how was the best way to cultivate the plants. In the articles, he wrote about the composting made from the food waste of homes, and how it can nourish the land. George motivated the farmers to make their vegetable gardens to cultivate their food and save money. The promotion of peanut and sweet potato cultivation helped renew the lands, and it gave ideas to the farmers to create a new business. These plants generated new incomes for the farmers in the South and the community became the supplier of all the derivated products of peanut and sweet potatoes. In 1920, the research derivated peanuts' products from George Carver, made that the United Peanut Grower Association put his eyes on him.
 
This Association invited Carver to represent them in the U. S. House of Representatives, and they informed that Carver had ten minutes to explain to them about the peanut industry. Agree with Montgomery and Hare CITATION Mon17 \n  \t  \l 1033 (2017) Carver started to talk, and the audience noticed that he had a lot of knowledge about agricultural science that they ask George to speak for almost an hour.  His investigation was beyond improving the lands. George wanted to improve the products from lands and make them resistant to the plague, this is the reason why he experimented with hybridization. The result of these new products was impressive because it was not necessary to use commercial fertilizer. George Carver started to be recognized in all the United States. He won awards and numerous prizes, he spoke in the congress, people used to know him as the "Peanut Man". But his condition as a popular man was out of the United States as well.
 
He was elected to be part of Britain's Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce in London in 1916, and he got the Medal from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in 1923. Furthermore, people like Calvin Coolidge and Franklin D. Roosevelt visited him at Tuskegee Institute. Roosevelt wanted thank him for his support to the polio victims. His group of friends were Henry Ford and Mohandas K. Gandhi. Ford was fascinated for George’s ideas about the use of plant materials in manufacturing industry. The president of Russia, Joseph Stalin sent an invitation to Carver to visit his country and the cotton plantation in 1931, but Carver refused to travel. Also, Thomas A. Edison offered Carver a job with a salary of more than $100,000 a year, but Carver refused again. George Carver wanted to work for his people, and he enjoyed working in the Tuskegee Institute, so he decided to remain there until the end of his career.
  


George Washington Carver's Legacy
Carver Legacy
  • George Washington Carver at work in a greenhouse, 1940.
Carver and Roosevelt
  • George Washington Carver with Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1933.
Carver Scientis
  • George Washington Carver working in a laboratory, 1910.

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Facts

In 1923 George Washington Carver won the Spingarn Medal from the NAACP, awarded annually for outstanding achievement.