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George Washington Carver: More Than a Man, a Molder of Lives

Updated on May 14, 2020
kenneth avery profile image

Kenneth, born and raised in the South, resides in Hamilton, Alabama. He enjoys sharing his unique perspectives on life through his writing.

Carver at work in his laboratory.
Carver at work in his laboratory. | Source

There Was This Genius in Tuskegee Named

George Washington Carver (1860s - January 5, 1943) and was born the American agricultural genius, scientist and inventor. Carver’s works and logs of his scientific research and discoveries will probably never be fully realized. He gave the idea to radical-alternative crops to cotton and methods to stop soil depletion. He was the most prominent black scientist of the early 20th century.

While Carver was a professor at Tuskegee Institute, he developed methods on how to improve soils that was burned-out by repeated plantings of cotton. He worked laboriously to teach and show poor farmers to grow other crops--peanuts and sweet potatoes, as a way of growing heir own food and to help their lives.

When people who knew Carver well (then) and all the way to 2020, will admit quickly that George Washington Carver was more than an humble man. He was several men in one body: thinker of high thoughts that stumped the more-enlightened professors and scientists of his day. Carver was a master of recall and knew what did and did not work as he worked many times days and nights (without sleep) to achieve (that) one specimen, that one break-through that would be of help to those who would never know his name.

Carver in 1942.
Carver in 1942. | Source

A Very Small Segment of Inventions

from George Washington Carver’s work at Tuskegee, he developed approximately 300 items made from peanuts; these including: flour, paste, insulation, paper, wall board, wood stains, soap, shaving cream and skin lotion. He worked and mastered machinery made with medicines made from peanuts, which included antiseptics, laxatives and a treatment for goiter. These items are but a small view of the things and applications that Carver not only researched, but tested over and over until he was satisfied with the product or whatever he might be testing.

And while there were a lot of folks back in Carver’s life and work, many had the poor idea that George Washington Carver was “all work and no play,” but Carver had a very sharp wit and loved to “josh” people who worked for and with him.

Here are just a few of his choice quotes and witty sayings:

  • "Fear of something is at the root of hate for others, and hate within will eventually destroy the hater."

  • "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."

  • "Where there is no vision, there is no hope."

  • "Nothing is more beautiful than the loveliness of the woods before sunrise."

  • "There is no short cut to achievement. Life requires thorough preparation - veneer isn't worth anything."

Peanut butter was, arguably, the most-important finding by George Washington Carver.
Peanut butter was, arguably, the most-important finding by George Washington Carver. | Source

And While Carver’s Wit Was Keen

he also had a few failures or two. But his best-known failure took him years to own. Read the startling little bit of information about the “Peanut Genius,”: George Washington Carver: as his usual style revealed, was researching an idea in his laboratory when a beaker blew-up and a cloud of very-smelly smoke wafted-over a single peanut on G.W.'s lab workbench and when this cloud disappeared, there he stood, George Washington Carver's greatest, but most secretive creation, Mr. Peanut. From that on and the patents were filed, not necessarily by Carver, the Mr. Peanut made millions for “his” inventor and grew to be a staple in the United States. Which begs to be asked, what would have been the outcome of all the rest of Carver’s “failures?”

Carver’s Personal Side__________________________________

perhaps one of Carver's strongest friendships was with the man Carver affectionately called “My beloved friend, Mr. Gandhi.” Their talking and writing began in 1929 when Mahatma Gandhi was in his early time as leader of the Indian independence movement But this friendship with Mr. Gandhi was not about Carver, although he was worthy of the title, “My Beloved Friend,” Mr. Gandhi was the focus on the two nations of India and Britain and Britain’s being stunned by Ghandi’s “Peaceful Resistance.”


to this less-than-complete look at the world’s most-prominent scientist, researcher, and friend to everyone who knew him, George Washington Carver, the man, stayed on the ground with his work and humble demeanor shunning personal glory and wealth as life went on in his life.

Carver was much-more fulfilled with the facts that he had learned by his studies, those of the peanut and what products could be invented to be used in a world that was only an infancy in growth when Carver was hard at work.

May 14, 2020_______________________________________________________

© 2020 Kenneth Avery


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