George Washington Carver

Black History Project


George Washington Carver, was an American botanist and inventor. The exact day and year of his birth are unknown; he was born into slavery in Missouri, either in 1861, or January 1864.Carver's reputation is based on his research into and promotion of alternative crops to cotton, such as peanuts,and sweet potatoes, which also aided nutrition for farm families. He wanted poor farmers to grow alternative crops both as a source of their own food and as a source of other products to improve their quality of life. The most popular of his 44 practical bulletins for farmers contained 105 food recipes using peanuts.He spent years developing and promoting numerous products made from peanuts; none were commercially successful. He was also a leader in promoting environmentalism. He received numerous honors for his work, including the Spingarn Medal of the NAACP.

He was widely recognized and praised in the white community for his many achievements and talents. In 1941, Time magazine dubbed Carver a "Black Leonardo"


Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom.

When you do the common things in life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world.

Ninety-nine percent of the failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses.


Carver applied to several colleges before being accepted at Highland College in Highland,Kanas. When he arrived, however, they rejected him because of his race. In August 1886, Carver traveled by wagon with J. F. Beeler from Highland to Eden Township in Ness County Kansas. He homestead a claim near Beeler, where he maintained a small conservatory of plants and flowers and a geological collection. He manually plowed 17 acres (69,000 m2) of the claim, planting rice, corn, Indian corn and garden produce, as well as various fruit trees, forest trees, and shrubbery. He also earned money by odd jobs in town and worked as a ranch hand.

In early 1888, Carver obtained a $300 loan at the Bank of Ness City for education. By June he left the area.In 1890, Carver started studying art and piano at Simpson College in Indianaola, Iowa.His art teacher, Etta Budd, recognized Carver's talent for painting flowers and plants; she encouraged him to study botany at Iowa State Agriculture Colllege in Ames.When he began there in 1891, he was the first black student. Carver's Bachelor's thesis was "Plants as Modified by Man", dated 1894.

Iowa State professors Joseph Budd and Louis Pammel convinced Carver to continue there for his matsre's degree. Carver did research at the Iowa Experiment Station under Pammel during the next two years. His work at the experiment station in plant pathology and mycology first gained him national recognition and respect as a botanist. Carver taught as the first black faculty member at Iowa State.


1890 he was the first black student at Simpson University
1893 his paintings get honorable mention at Chicago World Fair
1894 he got a bachelor in agriculture dagree
1894 he was appointed member of faculty, Iowa State College
1896 he achieved Master of Agriculture Degree, Iowa State College
1896 he was the director of the Dept. of Agricultural Research at what is now Tuskegee University
1916 he was named Fellow, London Royal Society for the Encouragement of the Arts
1928 he got honorary Degree, Doctor of Science,
1939 he was honorary Membership, American Inventors Society
1941 he was honorary Degree, University of Rochester
1941 he was received recipient, Award of Merit by Variety Clubs of America
1942 he got honorary Degree, Doctor of Science, Selma University,
1942 he began erection of George Washington Carver Cabin, at The Henry Ford
1942 his birthplace marker in Diamond Grove authorized by Missouri governor
1940 he was donated his savings to establish the George W. Carver Foundation at Tuskegee University.
1943 his birthplace was established as the George Washington Carver National Monument,July 14,
1952 he was selected by Popular Mechanics as one of 50 outstanding Americans
1952 the Polaris submarine George Washington Carver launched
1990 he was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame
1998 the second Carver stamp (32¢) issued