George Washington Carver-300 Uses for the Peanut
The brilliance of George Washington Carver is often underscored by his ability to produce a myriad of useful items from the simple peanut. This was no small feat, as it can be difficult enough to create one revolutionary product from any one source. Nikki Schmitt Carver was able to do it 300 times, and these inventions helped the South blossom and lessen their dependence on cotton, which was slowly being destroyed by insects like the boll weevil. In this way, the chemist was able to provide an alternative crop source, saving the region from economic destruction.
Born near the end of the civil war in 1864, Carver displayed an affinity for agriculture at a very young age, collecting things like plants, earth, stone and other items of interest to him. His curiosity grew into a healthy devotion to plant life that became beneficial to farmers and the everyday consumer.
Although Carver was said to have created useful items from soybeans, sweet potatoes and pecans, his main ingredient source was the peanut. His primary concoctions culminated in useful household items like paints, stains and plant products for farming and ground cultivation.
Indeed, his inventions are far too numerous to name, but George Washington Carver's resourcefulness and imagination did manage to provide investors and consumers alike with wonderful items like soap, peanut butter, cosmetics, face powder, dyes, candles, starches and flours. There were also a certain number of breakfast foods invented that were both economical and nutritious.
With all of these uses for peanuts, more farmers were willing to plant them, which was important because peanuts improved soil and aided in crop production. Although some would quibble and say that Carver made different varieties of the same products and that his actual invention count was around 100, most agree that a literal 300 stand-alone products were created by Carver.
George Washington Carver chose not to profit from these miraculous products but freely gave them to farmers and those who could benefit from them. He worked under a grant until 1940, when he donated his life savings to establish the Craver Research Foundation in Tuskegee to continue research in agriculture.