Have you ever
wondered where we got all this peanut stuff from? No,
peanut butter ice cream didn't just appear in the stores
one day. It was created by a wonderful man! Well, maybe
you don't think he is wonderful, but without this man we
wouldn't have many of the peanut products that we have
today. He even made soap out of peanut items! He made a
big impact on the world.
Carver was born on a slave farm near Diamond, Missouri.
In 1864, after his birth his father died in an accident
and he and his mother were kidnapped. The kidnappers took
him and his mother to Arkansas. Carver's mother was never
seen again, but Carver was brought back to his house.
Carver was brought up by the people that owned his
parents. Carver would wander outside when he had extra
time and examine the plants. Carver soon learned that
blacks were not allowed to go to some schools. At the age
of ten Carver asked his parent's permission to go to a
black school in Neosha which was 8 miles away. That was
the start of George Washington Carver's education.
In 1880 Carver entered
Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa. At first Carver was
interested in art, but he then decided to focus on
agriculture. After researching a lot about agriculture
Carver went to Iowa State College. His teachers were very
impressed with his work. They were so impressed that they
appointed him to the faculty when he completed his
undergraduate work in 1894. He was Iowa State's first
black faculty member.
Carver moved to
Alabama to join the faculty at Tuskegee Institute.
Tuskegee was an industry and agriculture school for
blacks. Carver became director of a state agriculture
station. He began to study ways of improving crop
products. He taught more productive agriculture to black
After 1914 Carver
started to research peanuts. Carver wondered why people
were just planting certain products like cotton or corn?
Carver showed many people that peanuts were good farming
products by making speeches and presentations. Carver
wanted to encourage farmers to plant different products.
He showed people that peanuts were nutritious and would
be a great thing to grow. Many farmers in southern states
started to grow peanuts. George Washington Carver made
over 300 peanut products out of plants including ink,
milk, and soap. Carver was called, " the Peanut Man".
Carver also made 118 sweet potato products!
In 1940 Carver gave
his life savings of $33,000 to Tuskegee Institute. Carver
got many awards including, the Spingarn Medal, the
Theodore Roosevelt Medal, and he was named a fellow of
Royal Society of Arts of London.
So next time you eat
some bread with peanut butter or wash your hands in
peanut soap just remember George Washington Carver.