Author Topic: George Washington Carver/from Investor's Business Daily  (Read 2261 times)

Offline DRobinson

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George Washington Carver/from Investor's Business Daily
« on: April 22, 2010, 10:54:56 am »
George Washington Carver's Rise
By PATRICK CAIN, INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY
Posted 04/21/2010 04:38 PM ET
 


Carver was born a slave in 1864 in Missouri, studied botany at Iowa State and spent 47 years focusing on farming techniques at Tuskegee. AP View Enlarged Image
George Washington Carver knew the value of an education.

Born a slave, he studied hard and saved his money so he could go to college.

And when Highland College in Kansas accepted him in 1885, he was delighted.

But there was a problem.

Highland College thought he was white. When a black man showed up to start his higher education, the door was closed.

Fortunately, Carver also knew the value of perseverance. He wouldn't give up, and it's a good thing he didn't. The future professor and inventor's work can be tasted in peanut butter.

Though he applied for just three patents — a peanut-based pomade and two for a type of paint and stain — he laid the foundation for 300 other products, including axle grease, buttermilk, adhesives, bleach, chili sauce, instant coffee, mayonnaise, plastics, shaving cream and synthetic rubber.

"George Washington Carver undoubtedly changed the world," said Pamela Riney-Kehrberg, an agriculture history professor at Iowa State.

Carver's Keys
•Laid the basis for 300 products, including axle grease.
•"There is no short cut to achievement. Life requires thorough preparation — veneer isn't worth anything."
The Start

By many accounts, Carver was born in 1864 in Missouri to a widow.

His family ran away from its owners, the Carvers, when George was a week old. Night raiders caught up to little George, his mother and his sister and sold them back into slavery.

The Carvers wanted the family back but could find only George and bought him back, leaving him separated from his mother, says Lisbeth Gant-Britton, author of the textbook "African American History." The Carvers then taught him how to read and encouraged his interest in agriculture. After the Highland College rejection, Carver roamed until he landed in Winterset, Iowa. There he built up the courage to give college a second try, this time becoming the first black student at Simpson College in nearby Indianola.

By now, 1894, he was 30 and had been farming for himself.

But farming wasn't all he was doing. He was researching and collecting data that would push him to the top of his class, says Gant-Britton, an administrator at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Carver knew what he wanted to study. His passion was agriculture. But Simpson College focused more on the arts. So he switched schools, entering the Iowa State College of Agriculture & Mechanic Arts.

There he studied botany. Low on savings, he supported himself by doing his classmate's laundry.

The wall of racism hadn't fallen, but he climbed it by helping out any student struggling with studies. One good deed particularly paid off with links to the top, since the tutoring recipient was Henry Wallace, who decades later would become FDR's agriculture secretary and vice president.
Posted 04/21/2010 04:38 PM ET
 

Once Carver graduated in 1894, his hunger for knowledge continued. Now he pursued a master's degree, zeroing in on fungus infections of crops. Even after achieving his master's, he stayed in education, this time teaching at the future Tuskegee University in Alabama.

Carver kept a hand in the college arena throughout his 47-year career. He taught former slaves farming techniques in order to be self-sufficient.

He also taught white farmers how to better use their land.

"He believed education to be the golden door of freedom," David Vaught, a history professor at Texas A&M University, told IBD. "He sought to aid farmers with practical agricultural research and advice. But most rural people who went to college in the early 20th century, including African-American students at Tuskegee, saw education primarily as a means to escape the farm."

In his push to help poor farmers, Carver saw that what plagued them was low-quality soil. That made trying to grow food formidable.

Carver knew this wasn't because of the soil itself, but due to how people treated the earth. For years, Southern farmers tilled the ground to grow cotton and cotton only. And cotton plants sucked nutrients out of the soil without replacing them.

Carver figured out a solution: crop rotation. He urged farmers to alternate produce and try growing sweet potatoes or legumes such as peanuts and soybeans instead of cotton.

With new crops came new uses.

Still at Tuskegee but now a national figure, he became the go-to guy on agriculture, especially peanuts.

In 1920, white farmers lobbied Washington to complain that they were being undercut by farmers in China.

When they needed an advocate to speak to Congress, whom did they pick? Carver.

"Here come a bunch of Southern senators, and they're looking at a well-dressed, well-mannered black man. They didn't know what to make of him," Gant-Britton said. "At first, they didn't want to talk to him. They said, 'OK, we'll give you 10 minutes.'Since he was speaking for the whole peanut industry, he needed more time than that. When his 10 minutes expired, he had the wary senators on his side. They give him another 10, then another 10. He essentially gave them a university lecture and stopped only when he was ready."

The peanut industry had the right man. By 1921, it had its desired tariff.

Line To The White House

Later in the decade, President Coolidge called on Carver for agriculture advice, as Theodore Roosevelt had and Franklin Roosevelt would in the 1930s.

Carver was more than a peanut expert, as fellow innovator Henry Ford discovered.

By 1942, five years after they met at a conference, Ford had recruited Carver to figure out how to use soybean oil to help run engines as America faced shortages amid World War II.

In 1943, in the infancy of his work with Ford, Carver died.

"Just imagine if he had lived long enough to (finish) his research with Ford," Gant-Britton said. "The world would have an even bigger Carver thumbprint on it."

Offline Francisco

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Re: George Washington Carver/from Investor's Business Daily
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2010, 12:58:01 pm »
Simply outstanding. :)
Don't get fooled by the bombs that I get I'm still I'm still Saddam from Iraq.

Offline Afro Samurai

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Re: George Washington Carver/from Investor's Business Daily
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2010, 01:31:18 pm »
 :o, didnt even know that this man did all of this other stuff. Whenever he is mention it is only about his work on peanuts. I wish he would had live longer to finish the research he was doing for Ford. I am also surprise that he helped out white farmers as well.
INTERRACIAL RELATIONSHIPS IS A SIN!!!!!! YOU'LL DIE QUICKER AND ALSO BURN IN HELL. THOSE ARE THE FACTS, BITCHES!!!!!!!!!

Offline DRobinson

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Re: George Washington Carver/from Investor's Business Daily
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2010, 05:59:35 pm »
:o, didnt even know that this man did all of this other stuff. Whenever he is mention it is only about his work on peanuts. I wish he would had live longer to finish the research he was doing for Ford. I am also surprise that he helped out white farmers as well.

He had to be a lot more about his work than about hating or revenge. I doubt he thought about “helping out white farmers” He had a plethora of reasons to hate, but he helped people regardless of color. He deserves more ink in our history books.

Offline URAEUS

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Re: George Washington Carver/from Investor's Business Daily
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2010, 09:20:19 am »
Brotha SINGLEHANDEDLY saved the South.

One of the greatest minds ever produced on U.S. soil.

Offline stanleyballard

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Re: George Washington Carver/from Investor's Business Daily
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2010, 03:04:45 pm »
Another man of African descent who did many phenomenal deeds throughout history.....he is one of many who is an unsung wonder of humankind.

Offline moor

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Re: George Washington Carver/from Investor's Business Daily
« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2010, 08:05:19 am »
My God.. think if he had actually completed his work on soy fuel.  We'd all be running biodeisel sedans getting 0-60 in 6 seconds with our ecological footprint smelling of popcorn.... Win/Win!