George Washington Carver was born in 1864 on a farm in Missouri. He had been born a slave during the Civil War. This war was being fought to abolish slavery. When the war ended he realized that he was interested in learning more about plants.
At that time it was difficult for many African Americans to get an education, but George Washington Carver did not give up. He finished high school and then went on to get a degree in agriculture from a university in Iowa.
A Farming Experiment
For many years, cotton was the primary crop grown in the South. When the same crop is planted repeatedly, it weakens the soil. Carver knew that it was important for farms to grow other crops. A few people raised peanuts and sweet potatoes, but there was little demand for either crop. Carver began to look for other uses for peanuts and sweet potatoes. He began a series of experiments to see what could be made from these crops.
Carver experimenting with his crops.
Over time he developed 300 products from peanuts, including flour, ink, dyes, and more. From the sweet potato, he made over 100 products, such as flour, vinegar, molasses, and even postage stamp glue. Soon farmers were eager to grow peanuts and sweet potatoes.
Some products carver made.
Through his work, George Washington Carver won numerous honors for improving the lives of so many. After he died in 1943, he was buried at Tuskegee University.
Carver and his friends at Tuskegee University.
Quiz 1) What year was George Washington Carver born? 2) Where did he go to University? 3) What did he experiment with? 4) What products did he make?