Past Forward

Activating The Henry Ford Archive of Innovation

George Washington Carver – Difference Maker

January 20, 2020

thf213730George Washington Carver at Tuskegee Institute, 1939 THF213730

George Washington Carver’s commitment to knowledge, serving the community, and making a difference drove his work as an influential agricultural scientist.

Carver loved plants as a child and studied them his entire life. Despite the many challenges he faced, he earned degrees in agricultural science and gained international recognition for his work.

In 1896, Carver began his 47-year career at Tuskegee Institute, a university in Alabama committed to educating African-Americans. There, he taught agricultural science, managed the school’s experimental farm, and researched better farming practices.

thf288047
One of the many bulletins Carver produced to help southern farmers THF288047

Carver shared his knowledge through practical instruction, “how-to” publications, and a mobile classroom. His research became the basis for lessons on improving the health and nutrition of the soil as well as the health and well-being of people and the livestock they tended.

Carver understood that farm families who raised cash crops like cotton had little time to grow food for themselves and no extra money to buy it. He identified hundreds of new uses for undervalued food crops like peanuts and sweet potatoes, which increased market opportunities and improved diets.

83187611_10116303509997094_2764448196762533888_o
An interactive digital experience in Henry Ford Museum features the stories of Luther Burbank, Rachel Carson, and George Washington Carver.

Learn more about Carver’s remarkable career in Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation, where a new digital experience in the Agriculture & the Environment exhibit explores

  • Bulletins produced by Carver to help southern farm families
  • Carver’s work to create nutrient-rich soil needed to grow healthy crops
  • Weeds – an untapped food source Carver liked to call “nature’s vegetables”
  • New products Carver developed from crops southern farmers already grew

George Washington Carver

Facebook Comments